Grove City Record

Garside presents updated financial forecast

District won't fall below target reserves until 2018, treasurer says

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The update of the district's five-year financial forecast Treasurer Hugh Garside presented to the school board May 12 was little changed from the forecast he offered last October.

"There are no material changes" in the updated report, Garside said.

By law, a five-year forecast must be approved each October and a revised set of projections presented and approved in May, he said.

The latest figures show the district's current level of revenue is about 2 percent higher than he projected in the fall, Garside said. Expenditures are about 0.5 percent lower than expected.

While Garside said he expects the district will begin to deficit spend in fiscal year 2016 and the district's cash balance will begin to decline a bit, South-Western should still have a cash balance equal to about 3.3 months of the annual overall budget at the end of 2018, he said.

The district's target is to never fall below three months in its cash balance at fiscal year's end, Garside said.

"So we are where we want to be," he said.

Since the district will begin spending at a deficit in 2016, at that time it will need to take a hard look at its expenditures for 2017 and 2018, Garside said.

When property reappraisals were made in tax year 2011, the district saw a loss of about $206 million in total value, he said.

But in the latest tax year, the district saw "a pretty nice increase," of more than $50 million in the real property assessed values, mostly due to the Hollywood Casino, Garside said.

"We feel good about our tax base. We have solidified our tax base," he said. "We do expect it to continue to grow and our tax values will (be going up.) "We're not projecting (the need for) a levy in this cycle," Garside said.

Because the district is considered a "capped" district under the current state funding formula, South-Western budgeted a 6.25 percent and 10.5 percent increase in unrestricted grants-in-aid funding from the state in fiscal year 2013-14 and 2014-15, respectively, he said.

Later in the meeting, the board approved and accepted Garside's five-year forecast.

In other business, the board recognized South-Western Career Academy student Shane Richardson for placing first in graphic design promotion at the Business Professionals of American national competition.

For the competition, Richardson created a flier and logo promoting the 2015 BPA National Leadership Conference to be held in Anaheim, Calif.

Earlier this year, Richardson earned a nearly perfect score of 79.5 out of 80 for his presentation at the state BPA competition. He won first place in that event and earned a $2,500 scholarship to the School of Advertising Art.

SWCA student Ethan Olson finished fourth in the national competition in the category of computer modeling. The category involved creating a design of a car competing in a futuristic Indianapolis 500 race.

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