ECS gets glowing annual audit

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  The Elizabethton Board of Education received good news about the school system's financial condition from strong audit reports on the financial statements of the Board of Education and the school activities fund.
  "I think compared to a lot of other entities you did very good," said Lisa Winkle, a certified public account with the Lewis & Associates firm that conducted the audit.
  The board voted 5-0 to approve the audit findings at a called board meeting held Wednesday morning.
  Lewis & Associates personnel audited the fiscal year 2004 financial statements of the Board of Education and school activity fund of Elizabethton City Schools. Winkle told the board that audits were completed as unqualified audits, which is the highest designation a CPA can give on a financial statement.
  The audit found the system's financial status has improved for the third consecutive year. Total net assets increased more than 1.5 percent.
  The audit found overall revenues for fiscal year 2004 totaled $15,047,091 - $149,412 more than expenses. The number fell 2.3 percent from the past year while total operating expenses rose 5 percent from $14.1 million to $14.8 million.
  The system's projected general fund budget of $13.3 million came in roughly $300,000 over budget, according to Winkle's report. General purpose fund revenues were $399,000 over expenditures, while the board's next assets increased 1.6 percent over last year to $9.8 million.
  Superintendent Dr. David Roper said he was pleased with the audit findings. He credited the system's finance department with maintaining a healthy financial status.
  "We are glad to get a report that indicated we were are on the right track on the way we are running the school system from a financial standpoint," Roper said. "That is going to continue from this point forward."
  Following the meeting, Catherine Wooten Armstrong told the Star she requested an agenda item to name the Elizabethton High School softball in honor of the newspaper's late publisher, Charles Robinson, be removed from last week's School Board agenda.
  Armstrong said she requested the item be removed because she did not feel other board members would support the measure and felt a lack of support for the naming could be embarrassing if the measure was defeated. Despite a lack of support, Armstrong said she wanted to bring the item before the board again in the future.
  "I plan to put it back on," she said.