Andover School District Reviews Annual Audit; Continues Discussion About Florence M. Burd School Traffic Issues
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 • 10:52pm
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - This week’s board meeting for the Andover Regional Board of Education on Tuesday, October 2, involved two presentations. The meeting was shortened due to board member absences, however the board decided to hear these presentations.
Accountant Raymond Sarinelli of Nisivoccia, LLP gave the presentation of the annual audit for school year 2011-2012.
One major finding was the general fund balance improving by $100,000. He pointed out a reimbursement for the roofing project that contributed most of this improvement. Unfortunately, without this reimbursement the fund was actually down $50,000.
Sarinelli explained that the revenue for the last year was very predictable, and the budget was completely expended. This means that the school has no excess funds to roll-over to the next school year, where many other schools would be able to use the excess for improvements during the next year.
“It will not be easy to reach your budgetary goals without your Fund Balance, and you should continue to look at efficiencies,” Sarinelli said.
Another part of the audit was to ensure that all terms had been met for all the grants received. Sarinelli stated that all compliance terms were met.
Some debts were refunded this year, one positive aspect of the audit. Other bonds were changed to have lower interest rates, which will save the board more money in the future.
Interim Superintendent Peter Merluzzi said, “As someone who has not been with this school for a long time, I can tell you that you are getting dangerously close. The district needs to take measures to build the reserve in case there’s an emergency.”
Sarinelli was invited back to a future meeting when more board members are present to ask questions. This audit is also available online for the public to review; click here to view.
Chief Gil Taglialatela gave the next presentation regarding the proposed roadway behind the Florence M. Burd School. He began by assuring the board he never intended to make them feel as if they had no choice in this process. He asked that the board make no formal move on anything, either dismissing the road behind the school, or accepting it.
Taglialatela brought two letters dating back to1998, that discussed this same problem.
“This is how far back we’ve been looking at this problem, and it’s only quadrupled since then,” he said.
He invited three representatives from the neighborhood behind Florence M. Burd School to discuss new options to solve this problem. Putting two traffic lights in front of the school is definitely not an option, he said, but other options are available.
The main problem is not with the school buses, but with the parents who drive their children to school and make a left turn out of their separate exit, Taglialatela said. The board clarified that there is a sign posted stating no left turn out of that exit, and the chief said that the sign is obviously being ignored.
Another issue that was discussed was the option for buses to make a right turn out of their exit, and looping around to Lake Iliff Road. Some parents believed that the weight limit on the Lake Iliff Bridge was the issue with that road, but Taglialatela said the true problem would be the volume of buses on such a narrow, turning road.
“My biggest concern is with what would happen when an officer is unable to be at his post because of our limited staffing?” Taglialatela asked. “The next step for me is to determine the full cost of having a special officer at that post during that time, and maybe the town could split the cost with the school board.”