School district finances strong

McDonald posts carryover balance

McDONALD — The financial position of the McDonald Local School District over the next five years is “very healthy,” according to the district’s top financial officer.

“We are in really good shape right now,” said Treasurer Bill Johnson. “We have a really nice cash carryover balance.”

The balances are contained in the district’s latest five-year forecast, which estimates there will be a $4.6 million surplus at the end of the year. The reserve grows to about $6 million at the end of 2018 and to about $7.3 million at the end of 2019.

At the end of 2020, the balance is expected to be about $8.3 million and when 2021 concludes, about $9.2 million.

The school board approved the forecast on May 30. What was presented to the board does not include proceeds from a 3.9-mill renewal levy that expires at the end of 2018, said Johnson. Also not included are items like staff increases or unforeseen cuts in funding by the state.

It’s expected the levy, which generates about $200,000 a year, will be put back on the ballot, possibly as early as November, but whether it will go on having another five-year term is undecided by the board as of yet, Johnson said. The board could ask voters to renew the levy for 10 years.

The expected surpluses come even while the district has been putting money aside to build a new athletic complex, estimated to cost about $3 million. So far, Johnson said, about $2.6 million has been saved for the project.

The complex is being considered for a 35-acre site near McDonald Avenue Extension and Olive Street between Second and Third streets.

Board member Thomas Hannon said the agreement to buy the land from First Baptist Church of McDonald is still being worked on. No action was taken at the board’s meeting May 30.

The complex would include a football stadium, all-weather track, fitness center, restrooms and a concession stand. Officials said the goal is to complete the project by 2018.

In other news, the school board formally accepted the resignation of member Catherine Harvey. Applications to fill the vacancy will be accepted through June 11 at the board offices to the attention of board President John Saganich. The person selected will serve the rest of 2017, but would need to run in November to fill the remainder of the four-year term that ends Dec. 31, 2019.