State audit show Dryden School District under spent

James F Clay/via flickr
April 24, 2014

The Dryden School District has been saving too much money, leading to increased taxes for Dryden residents. That’s according to a recent audit by the state comptroller’s office. The district says the fund balance is being used to safeguard against reductions in state funding.

The district has accumulated 2.7 million dollars from unused money over the past five years. The comptroller’s report says that’s too much and more of that money should be used.

Karin LaMotte is school board president. She says state funding has been shaky for years and their reserve fund has helped them out of some tight spots.

“Several years in a row we had to make cuts, make cuts, make cuts but with budgeting in reverse money we didn’t have to have one huge impact in a particular year,” says LaMotte.

According to the audit, if the district had planned more reasonable budgets it would have saved residents an annual tax hike of half a million dollars.

LaMotte says the district is planning to use some of the fund balance in next year’s budget.

“But we are also making decisions that make the best sense for Dryden. That we won’t use too much of these reserves at one time and deplete them,” says LaMotte.

The board approved the budget this week, with a tax increase that stays below the governor’s 2% cap and will only need a simple majority to pass.