School board not pleased with financial report

WELLSVILLE – District treasurer Eva Elliott presented a financial report for January that contained deficit spending, with expenditures of $663,570.82 outstripping revenues of $558,590.17. The result is an overall balance of $1,121,870.72, down from a balance forward of $1,226,851.37 from the end of 2013.

Though the figures are keeping in line with the five-year forecast delivered by former treasurer Coleen Wickham in October 2012, it still garnered an unpleasant reaction from board members. Karen Dash understatedly referred to the report as “not good.”

Board President Ed Bauer agreed, but said it was not unexpected and no reason for alarm. “We’ve known all along that we’d go in and out of that as we go down the road,” he said. “We’ve been watching and it was one of the reasons we made some moves not too long ago.”

The move referred to by Bauer was a shift of $279,087 from the district’s permanent improvement fund to the general fund in order to assist in coping with the shortfall. Columbiana County Common Pleas Court approved the transfer in January after Wellsville Schools petitioned the court, with no outstanding obligations on the figure from the $616,025 in the permanent improvement fund.

Elliott pointed out that the district should receive its property tax revenues this month, making the figures less bleak in the coming months. “As money comes in and out, it’s going to make this thing vary quite a bit,” Bauer added.

Board members highlighted the achievements of Wellsville student athletes, including WHS wrestler Seth Bloor, who won a sectional championship (220 lbs.) last week at Rootstown, advancing to the Division III district tournament at Garfield Heights on Friday.

Congratulations were also offered to the boys basketball team for their Inter-Tri County League lower tier championship, despite their failure to clinch the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference title.

The greatest congratulations, however, went out to the Lady Tigers girls basketball team, not just in wishes of good luck for the upcoming sectional tournament play against Crestview on Wednesday. Team members were also praised for their efforts in raising money for the fund created in memory of Oak Glen students Kristyn Butcher, Kaylin Rice and John Emmett Snow who died in a traffic accident on Jan. 18. The Lady Tigers also wore yellow headbands as a show of solidarity.

“That just goes to show you what a class act we have in our people,” said Bauer.