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Rossford Exempted Village School District Could Save $3.75 Million Annually
Columbus – Increasing energy efficiency and aligning staff levels with similar school districts would contribute to more than $3.75 million in potential savings at Rossford Exempted Village School District (Wood County), according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Rossford is a model school district,” Auditor Yost said. “It has fallen on tough times, but saw the financial red flags, understood what needed to be done and acted before it was too late.”
“I would like to recognize the staff members on the performance audit team for their work in compiling this report,” said Dan Creps, Superintendent of Rossford Schools. “We will continue to reference the report as we look for additional efficiencies.”
In October 2013, Rossford’s five year forecast predicted deficits of $14.8 million by fiscal year 2017-18, prompting it to request this performance audit. If the district implements all of the audit recommendations, positive fund balances would be expected through 2017-18.
Rossford Schools is currently staffed above its comparable districts. Reducing 31 full-time positions would put Rossford Schools at peer staffing levels and save $2,347,200 annually. The district also could save $94,800 annually by eliminating two building and grounds positions. In addition to recommended staff reductions, the district’s decision to close Indian Hills Elementary could save approximately $133,600 annually.
By freezing salaries for two consecutive years, the district would still offer higher compensation than similar districts and save approximately $95,300 annually. Eliminating pension pick-ups for administrative staff could save another $95,800 per year.
>Exploring options to reduce insurance costs to be on par with peer districts could save the district $508,900 annually, and increasing employee health insurance contributions to benchmark levels could save an additional $214,000 annually.
An overhaul of the bus system could save the district $230,900 annually. It would include consolidating routes to raise rider utilization, eliminating eight buses, procuring fuel through the Department of Administrative Services fuel contract and implementing new management standards.
Implementing an energy efficiency plan, which the EPA suggests can save 10 percent on energy costs, could save the district $42,200 annually. The District has approved a master plan to make energy efficient renovations.
Rossford Schools utilized the Leverage for Efficiency, Accountability and Performance (LEAP) Fund to pay for this performance audit. The purpose of the LEAP Fund is to make loans to Ohio governments that actively seek a performance audit, but require financial assistance to defer the cost. More information about the LEAP Fund can be found online. A full copy of this performance audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.