Bellaire Local School District Released from Fiscal Emergency
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today released the Bellaire Local School District (Belmont County) from fiscal emergency, a status it held for more than seven years.
The district was placed in fiscal emergency on Dec. 31, 2009, based on its failure to adopt and submit a fiscal watch recovery plan to eliminate projected deficits, including nearly $1.7 million projected for fiscal year 2010.
“After years under a fiscal cloud, district leaders can take pride in exercising the leadership needed to put the district back on a sound financial footing,” Auditor Yost said.
To accomplish this, the district of 1,303 students eliminated approximately 60 staff positions and ended a 7 percent retirement pick-up for new certified staff, for savings of approximately $5.3 million.
Switching to a new health insurance carrier to replace two previous carriers, and increasing the employee share of health insurance premiums, reduced expenses by $835,000.
The district also was able to reduce spending on supplies and contracted services by $250,000, as well as saving $25,000 in utility costs. The district’s food service fund improved from a $620,000 deficit in 2009 to an operating balance of $344,000 in 2016.
The school district also had to meet these conditions to be released from fiscal emergency:
- It has adopted and implemented an effective accounting and reporting system;
- It has corrected or eliminated all the fiscal emergency conditions, no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on the five-year financial forecast, the school district will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period;
- It has met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and,
- It has prepared a financial forecast for a five-year period in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination is available online.
Click here for a downloadable video of Auditor Yost speaking about the district's release from fiscal emergency.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.