Steamboat Springs School District’s audit is clean | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs School District’s audit is clean

Jack Weinstein

Steamboat Springs High School freshman Patrick Paulsen takes a test in Bob Hiester’s class Monday afternoon at the school. The Steamboat Springs School Board approved new graduation requirements that include earning two additional credits: a half credit of math, a half credit of personal financial literacy and a full credit of world languages.





Steamboat Springs High School freshman Patrick Paulsen takes a test in Bob Hiester's class Monday afternoon at the school. The Steamboat Springs School Board approved new graduation requirements that include earning two additional credits: a half credit of math, a half credit of personal financial literacy and a full credit of world languages.
John F. Russell

— Steamboat Springs School District auditor Bert Bondi said he would issue a favorable opinion of the district's 2009-10 financial statements — just not Monday night.

Bondi, of Englewood-based Bondi & Co., said the audit was incomplete because he hadn't received financial statements from the North Routt Community Charter School. Because the charter school's funding flows through the district, its financial statements are included in Steamboat's audit.

The School Board was scheduled to consider accepting the audit at Monday's meeting.

Steamboat Finance Director Dale Mellor said North Routt's audit was completed Monday. He presented the financial statements to Bondi, but they didn't include North Routt's management discussion and analysis, a report of financial observations about the school prepared by Colleen Poole, the charter school's director.

Mellor said Poole was trying to finish the report by Friday, the last day of school before winter break. Classes don't resume until Jan. 3

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Superintendent Shalee Cun­ning­ham said Poole spent two weeks in the classroom filling in for a North Routt teacher who was serving as a member of a jury.

Steamboat is required to submit its financial reports electronically to the Colorado Department of Education and state auditor's office by Dec. 31, Mellor said. He said the district's audit report also is due that day.

Bondi said he wasn't likely to review the North Routt audit and have his opinion back to the district to complete the audit report before the Dec. 31 deadline.

Mellor said he expects to submit the financial reports to the state as early as today but likely would have to file for an extension to submit the audit report. He said that wasn't a big deal, equating it to people requesting to submit their tax returns late.

School Board President Robin Crossan suggested that board members consider accepting the audit at the January meeting.

Bondi said when he does issue his opinion, it would be clean, which means Steamboat's finances are fine. He said the numbers prepared by the district were reported accurately and with accepted accounting practices.

"To summarize the process, it was a good clean process without any difficulties," he said. "It wasn't an Enron situation."

In other action, the School Board:

■ Certified the 2010 mill levy for property tax collections next year. The levy of about 15.7 mills will generate $17.8 million for the district's general fund.

It is a slight increase from last year's mill rate of about 11.6 because the district inadvertently over-collected property taxes for 2007-08 and 2008-09. The district in turn issued residents a credit last year of more than 4 mills.

The mill rate in 2008, for tax collections in 2009, was about 21.9 mills.

■ Accepted new graduation requirements that will increase the number of credits a student needs to graduate from Steamboat Springs High School from 23 to 25.

The changes also include additions of 0.5 credits in math, 0.5 credits of personal financial literacy and 1 credit of world languages. Also, the number of language arts credits would remain at 4, but 1 world literature credit requirement would be added.

Marty Lamansky, the high school's assistant principal, said Steamboat's graduates averaged 27 or 28 credits. He has said 84 percent of students in the past three graduating classes earned at least 25 credits.

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