Drummey: BW Levy’s end in sight

By Lenny C. Lepola

January 22, 2014

All good and necessary things that have a beginning come to an end, and especially so in a state where school district’s must go to voters on a regular basis for operating funds.

During the Thursday, January 9, Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting district treasurer Felicia Drummey openly hinted that the end of the 7.5-mil, $4.9 million emergency operating levy voters approved in 2010 is peeking over the horizon.

Drummey also noted that the district has $8 million cash on hand, but those dollars will evaporate quickly because the next income tax revenue disbursement is not due until March. The district spends in excess of $2 million each month to operate, she said, and some of those excess dollars were used to meet December expenses.

Drummey also noted that the district, as a public entity, can only use certain low-risk investment instruments, and because of the need for liquidity cannot use higher interest bearing long-term instruments.

She said the district has a $2 million CD, and a Fifth/Third Bank money market account.

“We’re earning about $2,000 a month in interest,” Drummey said. “That’s not a lot of money, but that’s the environment we’re in right now.”

During an update on the district’s recent state audit Drummey noted that the auditors recommended moving refund and rebate money from a Capital Fund to the General Fund.

Board president Allison Fagan asked Drummey if a state auditor’s recommendation supersedes board action.

Without directly answering Fagan’s question, Drummey said “I look at our relationship with the auditor not as a gotcha but as a partnership.”