Region 16 closes out 09-10 fiscal year with $839,000 ‘carryover’

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BEACON FALLS-School officials were greeted with better than expected news when Region 16 closed the books on the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

An audit of last fiscal year’s school finances showed the district ended the year $839,000 in the black, $239,000 better than originally projected.

Hugh Potter, business manager for the district, described the higher than anticipated surplus as exciting news, and a credit to the work of the staff in the business office.
Potter announced the surplus during the Board of Education’s Jan. 19 meeting.

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools James Agostine said the key to achieving the savings is simply being frugal.

School officials pointed out that having a surplus can look like the district received too much money. But, they emphasized, when putting together an education budget there are always anticipated overages that have to be taken into account.

Board of Education Chair Lisa DeGoes said the board could have spent the excess money, but looks to maintain a credit to Beacon Falls and Prospect each year.

Agostine echoed her sentiments.

“We take what we need and we give back the rest,” Agostine said.

The money won’t be returned to the towns in the form of a surplus. Rather, Agostine explained, the money will be used as a “carryover” for the current fiscal year. Each town will be credited a share of the money off their remaining education bills for this fiscal year, he said.

Each town’s share of the credit is determined by the “average daily membership” of students from the towns, based on the Oct. 1 enrollment figures. The current ADM is about 60 percent for Prospect and about 40 percent for Beacon Falls.

Prospect’s share of the credit is about $503,000 leaving the remaining $335,000 or so for Beacon Falls.