The Swanton Local School District looks to be on solid ground financially, according to the most recent five-year financial forecast.
“After two big years of deficit spending, the Swanton Local Schools district has had two good years of positive cash flow for their operations,” said Joyce Kinsman, district treasurer. “With careful planning and management of resources, the Swanton Local Board of Education has done a good job of improving the operating cashflow for the taxpayers of the district.”
Swanton most recently faced substantial deficit spending in fiscal year 2013. In that year, expenses exceeded revenue by over $740,000.
The district made significant reductions in the expenditures for the 2012-2013 school year plus additional reductions for the 2013-2014 school year. Fiscal years 2014 and 2015 both had positive cash flows of over $140,000.
Following those years, the district has a year-end fund balance of $6.4 million. Fiscal year 2016 is forecast to have a small negative cash flow of $11,762 before returning to a positive cash flow in 2017.
“The Board of Education will continue to use the five year forecast as a tool to adjust future spending so the district’s cashflow remains positive or very close to positive in future years,” said Kinsman.
The coming years will likely include a funding increase from the state of Ohio, although the exact figures are not yet known.
“Based on initial estimates for the fiscal year 16 and fiscal year 17 budget cycle, the district is expected to have increases in funding from the State of Ohio each year,” said Kinsman. “The final funding formula has not been implemented or funded yet so these estimates are subject to change. The Ohio Department of Education has not closed the enrollment collection process for the 14-15 school year and that will impact the funding for the 15-16 school year.”
The Swanton Local School District receives about 37 percent of total revenues from the state funding formula, according to the treasurer.
Kinsman said that the operations of the district’s buildings continues to be a challenge due to the age and configuration of the property on Cherry Street. The boiler at the middle school, for example, has been an ongoing issue.
The voters of the district will be asked to renew the $825,000 emergency levy during 2017. The $825,000 emergency levy accounts for 6.3 percent of the generalfund revenues for the district. “With the district working to keep spending in line with revenues, the renewal of the emergency levy will be critical for the operations of the district and to benefit the community and maintain property values for the taxpayers,” said Kinsman.
Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010