Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Would the audit have uncovered this?


The SN-L's Claudette Riley is reporting the School district overspends on 2006 bond

Springfield school officials spent every penny of the $96.5 million of the bond issue passed in 2006 — and then some.

The district "overspent" $1.8 million.

Steve Chodes, chief financial officer for the 24,000-student district, will discuss the spending on the 2006 bond issue at tonight's board meeting.

School officials point out they completed every project on the 2006 bond issue list. However, the bond financing office incorrectly estimated the amount of surplus that would be available.

And then, based on an incorrect surplus estimate of about $16 million, the school board approved additional projects. Those projects include paying off some of the lease-purchasing financing for the new Hickory Hills Elementary and Middle School and installing air conditioning at three schools.

Chodes said the error was discovered as the final bills came in. Several changes have resulted including moving all oversight of the projects financed by bond issues under the direct supervision of the finance department.

The board is expected to discuss tonight ways to accommodate the "overspent" amount — likely by pulling from the $50 million bond issue approved by voters in November.

Chodes said all the projects promised under the 2009 bond will continue. He hopes savings from projects that have come in under budget so far, as well as others that could come in under, will make up the amount overspent on the 2006 bond.

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