Budgeting concerns are focus of special Southemoreland schools meeting
Finances of the Southmoreland School District were the main topic for discussion at a special meeting held Monday.
First, the board unanimously approved engaging the services of the accounting firm of Cypher and Cypher of Canonsburg to assess the account balances of the district for accuracy, prepare journal entries to adjust account balances to their properly stated amount and to prepare the district's annual financial report.
The move was made a week after the board voted to call on former business manager Bill Porter to assist with the financial report, a request Porter declined, said Superintendent John Molnar after the meeting.
“This firm will do what Mr. Porter was engaged to do,” Molnar said.
Fees for the firm's services will range from $85 to $150 per hour, depending upon the staff member performing the services.
Additional costs will include out-of-pocket travel expenses billed at the standard IRS mileage rate and a flat $2,500 fee for preparation of the report. The price tag for this project is about $12,800.
Molnar said he hoped the project would be finished no later than Dec. 21.
The board also voted by a 6-3 count to have the administration present three proposals for potential audits of the 2011-12 school year that would be done in addition to the one performed by current auditor John Stiver of Jefferson Hills.
Voting in favor of the motion were school directors Catherine Fike, Ken Alt, Josie Kauffman, James Beistel, Aimee Love and Jason Pawlikowsky. Voting against the motion were board President Levi Miller and fellow directors Michael Bentz and Gail Rhodes.
“I think we need an outside audit to keep all of our minds at ease,” Alt said.
Miller didn't feel the move was necessary and took time to praise Porter.
Paul Bayura, a one-time school director, expressed his concern to the board about the district's finances.
“This just blows me away that we have to go to an outside source,” Bayura said. “It's quite apparent there's a problem. I'm kind of disappointed that something's wrong, someone knows something and someone's not saying something.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.