POINT PLEASANT — At Tuesday’s meeting of the Mason County Board of Education, Gary Hendricks, Chief School Business Official/Treasurer, stated that Mason County Schools is out of debt.
While addressing the board, Hendricks stated that Mason County Schools has a positive balance of $62,000, as of June 30, 2012. Superintendent Suzanne Dickens also stated this has been reported to the West Virginia State Department of Education and an external audit to approve this figure will begin on Dec. 5. Dickens added that the BOE also plans to release the audit information around late December or early January.
“It’s great to be out of debt, pending the auditor’s approval,” said Board President Thomas Nunnery.
Board members also acknowledged Dickens and her work to decrease the deficit. Dickens stated the credit for eliminating the debt also goes to the board, as well as the staff members of Mason County Schools.
“It was a team effort,” Dickens said. “Everyone’s contributed.”
As reported earlier this year, when presenting the proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year Hendricks had stated that Mason County Schools would begin this fiscal year with a deficit of $650,000, beginning on July 1, 2012, which contradicts the current balance of $62,000 as of June 30, 2012. Hendricks spoke with the Point Pleasant Register and explained that this prediction was based from the information he had at the time, which did not include the additional funding Mason County Schools later received. Hendricks added that he had received additional revenue, specifically mentioning revenue from the public utility taxes from the state auditors office, which had been more than expected.
Hendricks also explained some of the ways the deficit had been repaid, stating it was an accumulation of several things that had been taking place since 2010, such as staff members being placed on the Reduction In Force list and additional revenue received from federal stimulus grants and the public utility taxes. Hendricks added there were also several smaller items which also contributed to the deficit reduction, including keeping an eye on utility bills and conserving on travel and simply being watchful of other expenditures.
As previously reported, Mason County Schools began with a deficit of $2.8 million and has be decreasing over a period of several years.
In addition to Superintendent Dickens, board members present were Thomas Nunnery, Randy Searls, Greg Fowler, Paul Sayre and Dale Shobe.
The Mason County Board of Education will meet again at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Mason County Career Center.
(Note: More on this meeting and the approved agenda items will appear in a later edition.)