Some of the members on the Sampson County Board of Education would like to set policy for the district’s fund balance.
Board member Dewain Sinclair brought up the matter during a Thursday morning work session, referring to the $1.2 million as the nest egg and rainy day fund for county school operation. During the meeting, he said Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy was interested in increasing the balance, which was $2.9 million in the 2014-15 period.
Currently, no policy is set for board members to approve spending for needs such as a $117,000 new chiller for Midway Middle School. Finance Officer Dale McLamb made the request for the cooling machine.
While addressing the board, McLamb said money will be shifted around to help offset needs, but said the fund balance is constantly being monitored.
“I look at it every morning,” McLamb said about the fund balance and other portions of the budget.
Board member Glenn Tart said no one is questioning the process, but indicated that board members would like to have more control over it.
“I think it’s good business to have a policy in place, if we’re the final say-so,” Tart said. “That’s what are job is — to set polices in the school system.”
Board Chairman Dewain Sinclair said it was good to have discussions regarding the fund balance and policies.
“It’s not a pot sitting there,” Sinclair said. “It’s always changing.”
Bracy said most districts set aside funds for capital improvements for items such as the chillers.
“We have chillers in our district that are at the age where they are not going to function,” Bracy said. “We’ve made plans to start setting aside chiller money every year.”
He continued that chillers and items such as boilers break down unexpectedly and those instances should be expected.
“Those things happen, so it’s good to have a rainy day fund/capital improvement fund,” he said.
Board members are scheduled to discuss the fund balance and policy process during an upcoming retreat.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.