Farlough leaves a million in fund balance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 1999

By MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / June 19, 1999

RESERVE – Cleveland Farlough, attending a St. John the Baptist ParishSchool Board meeting for the last time as superintendent, left the school system a going away present Thursday night – nearly a million dollars in its ending General Fund balance.

Farlough is retiring after 42 years in the school system.

The school district had an ending fund balance of $999,454 for the fiscal year 1998-99. Highlights of the budget was a nearly $1.5 million increasein sales taxes than what was projected in the original budget. Sales taxesbrought in $9,170,554 in revenue for the school system this past fiscal year.

“We had another great year of sales taxes,” Felix Boughton, director of business operations, said.

The district also received approximately $1.5 million more in stateequalization than what was originally budgeted. Total revenues receivedwere $37,631,578, approximately $3.2 million more than what wasprojected.

Total expenditures were $37,392,449, approximately $2.2 million morethan projected mainly because of the salary increases teachers received from the state. There were also some maintenance projects done this yearthat had been put off.

During the Finance Committee meeting held before the regular board meeting, committee members asked about the approximately $600,000 in school board expenses. Boughton replied that includes the settling ofclaims in the school system as a whole during the year but that the state requires that it be listed under board expenses even though its system- wide.

The expenditure for sabbaticals was approximately $346,000 below what was projected. There were only five sabbaticals taken during the year ascompared to the 17 that were projected.

“This was the best year that I’ve seen since I’ve been here as far as sabbaticals,” Boughton said.

Boughton credited Far-lough for setting up a staffing committee that met with the principals to see what there needs were. The school systemended the year with a $239,129 surplus.

“I think Mr. Farlough should be commended,” Boughton said. “He left us amillion dollars to start off next year.” The board passed the amended 1998-99 budget unanimously.

The board also approved the amended Lunch Fund budget. There was areduction in the fund of approximately $47,000, leaving it with a ending balance of $467. Boughton said the reduction was because of a reduction inparticipation in the program and a loss of funding from the federal government for certain commodities.

Three full-time jobs are being reduced and Boughton said if reductions in funding continue, more jobs may have to be reduced. He said theadministration is looking for ways to increase revenue.

“We are still in balance but we are using up a lot of the surplus,” Boughton said.

Also approved was the Salary Schedules and the Comprehensive budget for the fiscal year 1999-2000. Revenues are projected to be approximately$37.4 million and expenditures approximately $38.2 million with an endingfund balance of approximately $230,000. Boughton noted that those wereconservative figures, The sales taxes revenues are projected to be reduced $500,000 and the revenues from state equalization are projected to be the same although Boughton said he believes it to be fully funded. Boughtonalso projected for a worst-case scenario in the number of sabbaticals.

The Comprehensive budget was approved unanimously.

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