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Business manager warns district to proceed with caution

While presenting the Estacada School District’s audit for the 2012-13 fiscal year, District Business Manager Donna Cancio told the school board that it was a “good news/bad news” audit.

For the first time in years, the district’s net position was a positive number, $92,355. The previous year, the district’s net position reflected a loss of more than $600,000.

For the first time in years, the district received more money than it spent.

“That’s a really important, positive trend,” Cancio told the Estacada News in a later interview.

Oregon school districts are required to complete an annual audit.

Cancio implied that the 2011-12 fiscal year audit painted a rather dire picture for the district.

“We took some pretty drastic moves last year,” Cancio said. “Unless it was an absolute necessity to buy, we didn’t buy it.”

“It was hard to buy a paper clip last year,” she added. “We did what we could to contain our spending.”

She explained days were cut from the middle of the year and district employee’s contracts were reduced by five days.

“It wasn’t pleasant,” Cancio said.

Cancio hinted that the district is in a better position this year, but it is not financially out of the woods.

“I think we just need to proceed with caution is basically it,” she said.

Cancio added that much of the district’s financial difficulties could be attributed to the economic recession.

“If you look at the trends, they pretty much follow the economic cycle,” Cancio told the school board during the Wednesday, Jan. 8, board meeting.

During that meeting, Cancio warned the board that the district needs to increase its liquid assets and indicated that it is troubling that the 2012-13 ending fund balance (which is also the 2013-14 beginning fund balance) was below $1 million.



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