Fiscal supervisor reports financial progress for Niles Schools
One of Niles City Schools state-appointed fiscal supervisors said the district is “making good progress” financially as it works to get out from under fiscal emergency.
Nita Hendryx, chief project manager for the Ohio state auditor, made the assessment following her latest report to the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission Wednesday. The commission, which met at the board of education office, has been responsible for overseeing the district’s financial recovery since state Auditor Keith Faber declared Niles Schools in fiscal emergency last February.
Hendryx told the commission that an estimated resource and appropriation analysis projects the district with a positive cash balance of nearly $6.137 million in the current fiscal year. “All of the funds (in the cash balance estimate) are forecast in the black,” she said. The supervisor’s report precedes by one day Faber’s release of a state audit of Niles City Schools scheduled for Thursday.
Hendryx, however, highlighted several projected deficits in grant reimbursements totaling more than $370,000 but explained that a state department of education “peer review of grant funds” kept the district from requesting the money.
It was not possible to ask for reimbursement while the review was underway, Hendryx explained. She indicated the deficits should eventually be eliminated once the district is cleared to submit applications for the grants.
Hendryx also reported that Lori Simione, the district’s temporary treasurer, successfully reconciles bank records. Simione, who is the treasurer for the Trumbull County Educational Service Center, was hired by the district as a temporary replacement for Treasurer Lori Hudzik, who was placed on an “unrequested leave of absence” last July after the commission criticized her for failing to complete reconciliation of bank records as required. Hudzik subsequently went on family medical leave, which was near expiration according to statements made after last month’s board of education meeting. Commission Chairman Bob Foss tells 21 News that the panel is waiting to see how the board of education resolves Hudzik’s status. The board’s next meeting is October 17.
Meanwhile, the commission has set a special meeting for October 24 to discuss two contracts, one of which contains the school district’s health insurance policy. Both require the panel’s review before the end of the month.