Huntington School Board members have voted 7-0 to confirm allocations of surplus monies from the 2017/18 budget to the district’s reserve funds.
Trustees took the action during a public meeting on Tuesday, November 13 in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School auditorium. Creation of each of the funds is authorized by state law. Some of the funds also required the approval of district residents.
The three capital reserve/Building Improvement Funds have a combined balance of $3,829,359. Maintaining a well-funded capital reserve allows the district to avoid borrowing and incurring interest costs to upgrade its facilities. These monies can only be used for capital projects, including new school roofs, windows, doors, boilers, facility improvements, etc. Completed projects are eligible for state aid. District residents must approve any expenditure of funds.
The Employee Benefits Accrued Liability Reserve Fund’s balance is now $4,014,550. The monies cover the cost of unused accumulated leave time that is contractually provided to certain groups of employees when they separate from the district and are entitled to such payment.
The Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund’s balance is now $5,270,978. It is used to pay expenses related to the district’s obligation to the New York State Employees Retirement System.
The Workers’ Compensation Reserve Fund’s balance is now $2,382,111. It is used to pay actual claims related to employee medical costs and self-insurance administrative expenses. It cannot be used to pay for premiums.
The Unemployment Insurance Payment Reserve Fund’s balance is $227,665. It helps cover unemployment insurance claims submitted by employees who have been separated from service to the district.
The district is using $1,400,000 from its fund balance to help hold down property taxes during the 2018/19 fiscal year. It’s one of the lowest such fund balance appropriations in many years, which is also consistent with advice offered to the district by the Office of State Comptroller.
Huntington’s unassigned fund balance is $4,895,595. These funds are unrestricted and may be used for any valid purpose.
Consistent with advice from the Office of State Comptroller, the district is drawing down some of its reserve funds.
A copy of Huntington’s reserve fund plan is posted on the district website at www.joshuacarnes.info. The plan includes a history of each fund, including its purpose, funding level and uses.