BOLD audit shows turnaround after three years of deficits

The BOLD School District was able to reverse three years of deficit spending in its general fund, according to its new audit. Voter approval of an operating levy, additional state aid and budget reductions allowed the district to start a fiscal turnaround.

OLIVIA — BOLD School Board members will be bringing forward a $59.8 million bond referendum for a new school in February as the district is showing an improved financial position.

The district completed the 2019-2020 fiscal year with the general fund showing revenues exceeding expenses by $313,847, according to information provided to school board members on Monday by Brenda Parsley, manager with Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing.

The district had recorded significant general fund deficits in the three preceding years, and was seeking to turn things around. The deficits had reduced the general fund balance from a peak of $4.6 million in 2016 to $1.9 million. The improved performance reversed the trend and increased the general fund balance to just over $2.2 million.

The voters' approval last year of an operating levy helped the district turn things around, adding $181,000 to the revenue side, according to the audit information. The district’s general fund balance also realized additional state revenues, and budget reductions brought down expenses. The district also was able to retire its debt on a parking lot project.

The general fund is responsible for the district’s instructional costs as well as building maintenance.


School board members are proposing to reduce the general fund levy payable 2021 by $23,068 to $1,298,779, a 1.7 percent decrease, according to information provided by Lindsey Heine, the district business manager, in a Truth-in-Taxation meeting that preceded the audit on Monday.

Information provided at the meetings showed that the district’s tax rate is the second lowest compared to six neighboring school districts.

The payable 2021 tax rate for the BOLD School District is projected to be 5.21, or just above the 4.60 rate for the Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart School District. The rate for other neighboring districts ranges from 7.317 for Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop to 24.796 for MACCRAY. The MACCRAY District has added debt service for a new school facility on its taxes.

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