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Brighter financial report in new Forest Park audit

CRYSTAL FALLS—Forest Park’s financial condition has improved a lot over the last year, members of the School Board heard during their monthly meeting here Sept. 28.
    The good news came during a report on the district’s annual audit. At the end, Justin Curtis of D.S. Rostagno Inc., who presented the report, said, “I couldn’t be happier with the results.”
    An audit report may be pretty dry stuff, but it indicates the financial health of a business, government unit or school district. For the last few years, Forest Park has been barely scraping by, with tiny fund equities amid never-ending efforts to keep costs down.
    This time, the picture looks a lot brighter.
    Curtis said the district’s general fund revenue increased $323,000 (up 8 percent) over the year before because of an increase in state aid ($219,000) and federal aid ($24,000).
    Forest Park’s taxable value went down a little, about $34,000, but other local revenue increased by $114,000. This includes room rentals, gross timber sales and insurance reimbursement. “In all,” Curtis said, “the revenues for the general fund went up almost 9 percent for the year, and that is pretty fantastic.”
    Meanwhile, the cost of instructional and support services was $3.80 million, “up by less than a thousand dollars.” Transfers were down by $26,000. For the year, total expenses decreased by $28,000. “That’s pretty fantastic, when your revenue went up as substantially as it did and your expenses went down. You went in the right direction both places.”
    As a result, the district’s fund balance for the year increased $143,000. The year before, the district’s fund balance fell by $128,000. “You actually have a current year swing of $272,000.”

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