Annual audit shows district up to snuff

Dave DeMarsPrint Sartell - St. Stephen, Sartell – St. Stephen0 Comments

by Dave DeMars

The highlight of the Nov. 20 Sartell-St. Stephen School Board was the presentation of the 2016-17 yearly audit by Nancy Schulzetenberg of Bergan KDV Auditors. The district is doing remarkably well in managing its affairs, according to Schulzetenberg. The complete audit can be found at the following website:

Some of the key financial highlights included:
• Net position decreased by $8,849,712 from 2016-17 activity (See explanation of net position below)
• Overall revenues were $56,638,725 while overall expenses totaled $47,789,013
• General Fund balance increased $855,840
• General Fund unassigned fund balance increased $202,917
• Amount of net bonded indebtedness increased with paying off $3,462,550 of debt, unamortized premiums issuance and annual amortization of $8,973,530 and issuance of new debt of $98,479,049 ($22,968,945 to $126,958,974 balance).

Note: Net position and how the finances of the district has changed over a period of time, in this case, one year. Net position, the difference between the district’s assets, deferred outflows of resources, liabilities and deferred inflows of resources, is one way to measure the district’s financial health. The decrease in net position occurs as a result of the district’s revenues being more than its expenses for the year ended June 30, 2017.

The auditor’s report was accepted and approved as an action item later in the course of the meeting.

The board also heard an update on the building of the new high school from construction manager Lee Gruen of Winkelman Building Corp. Gruen reported performance fields are all to sub-grade, and the sand-based root zone will be installed next spring. Work on footings and foundations is ongoing in Areas 1, 2 and 3 – to meet the critical dates for pre-cast, structural steel and masonry start dates which should be starting on or about Dec. 12. Parking lots, curb and gutter are placed in all areas intended to place this year, and the first lift of asphalt is complete. Overall, the project is on budget. One concern is the onset of cold weather and how it will hamper the building project. Thus far, temporary heat has been provided when needed. Otherwise the project seems to be going according to plan.

Other board actions

• The board approved a personnel omnibus resolution for the hiring of new personnel and changes in work assignments in the district.

• The board approved District 748’s World’s Best Workforce Strategic Plan for submission to the Minnesota Department of Education. The plan is a requirement of the MDE.

• Approved revisions to school board policies 103: Complaints – Students, Employees, Parents, Other Persons; 104: School District Mission Statement; and 101: Legal Status of the School District. The changes consisted of date changes, legal reference changes and other minor wording and spelling changes.

• Approved a contract with the Sartell Education Association. This is an employment contract with the teacher’s association and is negotiated every two years. It sets terms and conditions of employment and salary schedule.

• The board tabled a contract with Recovery Plus/St. Cloud Hospital for psychotherapeutic services pending clarification of some issues and board concerns. The board directed a new contract with language reflecting some changes in the contract and the way it’s administered be brought back for approval at a future meeting.

• Approved group fundraisers for the boys’ swim team and the baseball team.

• Approved an off-campus agreement between Southwest Minnesota State University (nursing programs) and the district. The program gives students a clinical-nursing experience and allows them to earn credit while exploring the nursing field.

• Approved a contract to purchase demountable walls for use in the building of the new high school.

During the discussion portion of the meeting, the board made several changes to upcoming Monday meeting dates.

The December meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Sartell High School Media Center.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 8 for its annual reorganization meeting. The regular January meeting has been moved to 6 p.m. Jan. 22.

The February meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 26.

The March meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 19.

photo by Dave DeMars
At the Nov. 20 school board meeting, Nancy Schulzetenberg of Bergan KDV auditors explains to the board what the audit entails and what it reveals about the financial health of the school district.

photo by Dave DeMars
Lee Gruen, project manager on the new Sartell High School building project for Winkelman Building Corp. describes the progress being made at the building site. In the background is an aerial photo of the entire building site.

Author: Dave DeMars

Born and raised in Wisconsin – a “Happy Days” high school experience. Attended UW-River Falls and followed their motto – “Where the free spirit prevails.” Four years in the Army Security Agency (Spies), 31 years teaching English and directing plays. Other jobs – gandy dancer, counselor at mental institution, snowmaker, apple picker, concrete finishing, janitor, furniture mover, appliance sales, insurance sales, media sales, real estate, and writer. I am skeptical to a fault and like all human being I am more oxymoron than I am anything else. I blog at

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