School gets audit report: H-PT fund balance remains in ‘good range’

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Sara Marcotte, business manager for the Houghton-Portage Township School District, discusses the district's recent audit report.

HOUGHTON — The Houghton-Portage Township School District’s fund balance is still within the state’s recommended percentage of expenditures, according to its most recent audit report.

The district’s fund balance was at a little more than 16 percent as of Nov. 20, down from 18 percent the previous year, said district Business Manager Sara Marcotte. The state recommends somewhere between 15 to 20 percent.

“We’re still in that good range,” she said.

Rukkila, Negro & Associates issued a clean opinion, signifying the district had represented its financial statements fairly and accurately.

The General Fund balance decreased from the previous year due to a large donation received in the previous year from the William Hodge Trust. The district transferred it to the district’s foundation last year.

The district does not have a deficit in any of its funds.

The board approved transferring funds from the internal fund to the General Fund, and from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund.

Auditors recommended the district change its practices regarding internal funds, such as those belonging to student clubs. The General Fund has traditionally paid for those expenditures, which have grown to about $370,000.

“That was kept in a separate account, and then we would turn around and pay for their registration fees, but we weren’t paying back ourselves from that account,” said Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil.

Klingbeil said the district’s Finance Committee has talked in the past about putting money each year into the capital projects fund. The board adopted the committee’s recommendation of $200,000.

“We hadn’t done it for a couple years,” said Trustee Dan Crane. “In past discussion, we were talking about $100,000 a year to keep that fund growing and active, so when we replace carpet and lockers and things, we have money available for that.”