District 117 Has Clean Audit, Approves New Roof For Fieldhouse

By Benjamin Cox on October 17, 2019 at 6:35pm

Jacksonville School District 117 spent the majority of their time focused on finances for the district. Suzanne Steckel of Eyth, Zumbahlen, Surratt, Flynn, and Foote presented the district with their Fiscal Year 2019 audit. Steckel said that the audit came back completely clean with no findings this year. Treasurer Jamie Hadjan commented that it was the first time in 15 years that the district had such an audit. Superintendent Steve Ptacek said that the finding of separation of duties was removed to loosening of restrictions on auditing processes. He said that the federal government had stepped in due to funding of public schools that had multiple findings. Ptacek said he didn’t want to diminish the work of the executive office of the school district by saying the finding was removed by technicality, but rather the officers in charge of district’s finances have been doing a great job for a number of years and the requirements under old audit measures were impossible and impractical to meet.

Steckel said the district currently possesses $29 million in cash on-hand in their funds, which is down $5.4 million from last year due to capital improvement projects. Currently, education funding has an 8 month cushion, transportation possesses a 9 month reserve, and Operations and Maintenance’s only had a 1 month reserve due to the current projects currently occurring in the district that are depleting that fund.

The district received a score of 3.8 on a 4 score for ISBE rank score, which is in the top tier for good fiscal solvency for the district. Steckel said that the long term debt for the district, which is a common issue for local districts, is the only subject matter that the district received a low score on.

Treasurer Jamie Hadjan repeated the good money matters by saying that the district appears to be on track with their budget. The other major money matter for the district last night was approving a bid for the roof of the Jacksonville High School Fieldhouse. The low bid came in for a shingle roof with replacement of 3/4 inch plywood by Roofing Associates of Springfield, formerly called Meyer Roofing for a total cost of $78,980. Superintendent Ptacek said that the reason the cost is higher than a normal residential roofing project is because of prevailing wage requirements by public law.

The Jacksonville School Board also made final approval of a settlement agreement with former JMS Custodian Randy Coultas as one of the final actions of the meeting. District 117 will meet again on November 13th for their next monthly meeting.