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Board weighs future of fund

Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The school board welcomed back three returning members at its Monday night meeting.

Lynn Hohl, of Seward; Sammy Crawford, of Kalifonsky Beach; and Sunni Hilts, of Seldovia, all won their uncontested elections for seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education earlier this month.

The incumbents, whose combined experience adds up to a little more than 20 years, were sworn in at the Monday meeting in Soldotna.

At the board's work session during the afternoon, the group looked how the administration manages a fund that came under scrutiny during the last spring.

At that time several members of the Borough Assembly questioned the use and maintenance of the district's Equipment Reserve Fund.

According to Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones, the fund was set up several years ago in response to years of funding shortfalls as a measure to replace aging equipment that's not necessarily accounted for in the general fund.

The proposed changes to the fund are in part a response to recent changes in governmental accounting standards, assembly criticism and a measure to safeguard its future.

The district administration is proposing that they dedicate 20 percent of the interest from their General Fund, which would range from $200,000 to $250,000 a year, as the revenue source for the Equipment Fund.

They're also proposing to establish an annual application process for which buildings and departments could apply for funds to replace needed equipment.

The funding for those expenditures would be drawn out of the Equipment Fund.

"Hopefully what's going to be realized is when we get these policies done people will see, 'OK there was a definite purpose for setting this money aside,'" Jones said.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com.



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