HAZARD — The Hazard Independent School Board met Monday evening to discuss an audit report, construction updates, and other budgetary items.
Troy Gaw, an auditor with Gaw and Associates in Harlan County, presented the board with the audit report for the 2011-2012 school year.
Gaw said nothing had really changed in the report from the previous year, and most of the findings were at Roy G. Eversole, as they had been in previous years, including monthly financial statements being turned in late, purchase orders not being used every time something is purchased, and checks not being disposed of properly.
In other business, the board approved a pay application request to McKight and Associates for both the middle and elementary schools. The pay request is for payment for the work that has been done thus far on the schools. The board also approved the hire of Thermal Balance, Inc. to perform testing and balancing services for the HVAC systems at Walkertown for $1,790 and Roy G. for $870.
Joseph Clark, an architect with the firm Clotfelter-Samokar, presented the board with an update on construction at both schools.
“Renovation of the multi-purpose room is nearly complete, we’re just waiting on some faucet installation. That should be open, hopefully, by the end of this week. Gymnasium toilets are almost finished, and should be done around the same time,” Clark said. “Our goal is to make sure that we have toilet facilities on each end of the building.”
Clark said he hopes to be able to speed construction up to ensure finishing in the spring, however, much of what needs to be completed on the exterior is dependent on weather conditions.
Superintendent Sandra Johnson presented the site-based allocations for the 2013-2014 school year.
The high school’s allocation changed by adding a half staff position in art, the middle school also added a half position, while Roy G. cut back on allocations from 16 to 14 positions, Johnson said, though that does not mean those positions will be gone.
“Title I funding can be spent on positions at the elementary school. They actually prefer it be spent [there],” Johnson explained.
The board also unanimously approved a change of food service bidder from the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) to a new group purchasing firm, HPS. KVEC did not drop service with the district, or other districts in the region, Johnson said.
“They were no longer allowed to be paid fees for certain services. We used to pay money to them for them to keep track of all of this, and they can’t do that without charging,” Johnson explained.
Johnson said she thought HPS was the best option for the Hazard schools based on the fact that almost every other district in the region that had previously used KVEC was switching to HPS.
“They [HPS] did an evaluation of invoices for the month of what we’re currently paying and what their pricing would be. It would be the same vendors, there would be no changes other than where our bids would come through,” Johnson said. “It actually saved money from what we’re paying currently.”
Regina Cornett, the district’s financial officer, presented the final budget for the month of January.
Revenue for the month of January totaled $468,776, just over $3,000 more than the estimated revenue, $320,879 of that was SEEK funding and the sheriff’s payment was $89,752. Expenses for the month came to $172,823, $70,000 more than the previous year. Cornett attributed this increase to KSBA payments for buses, increased utility costs, and late payments for school lunches.
“Food services is where we’re a little bit questioning right now, and revenue is down at the school level,” Cornett said
Johnson said debt to food service in the high school alone was over $9,000, and there needed to be a solution to the problem.
“I’m not going to say don’t feed a child, ever. I mean if it come to that, I won’t,” Johnson said.
The board was also presented with the preliminary numbers for the KSBIT assessment. The district could be looking at bill of $136, 918 to the group insurance firm. The district has not been a member of KSBIT for the last five years, but could be expected to pay this amount in either one lump sum or in payments ranging for either 10 or 20 years. Johnson said some districts are facing payments of over $1 million.