Audit of Forestville schools finds transportation, cafeteria costs need improvement - The Buffalo News

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Audit of Forestville schools finds transportation, cafeteria costs need improvement

FORESTVILLE – A state comptroller’s audit of Forestville Central School from July 2012 to February 2014 found two areas where the district could realize some savings for taxpayers: Transportation and cafeteria expenses were both listed as areas in need of improvement.

School Board President Sylvester Cleary said the board members have already issued some corrections to the report. During the time the report was written, the district started sharing a transportation supervisor with the nearby Silver Creek Central School District. Cleary noted that the district is in the process of searching for a new superintendent, as well as looking at the overall district operations.

He said School Board members had already addressed concerns about transportation and cafeteria costs.

The district serves about 630 students in kindergarten through grade 12, according to its website.

The audit states that bus routes should be examined to reduce the number of routes. The comptroller’s report estimated that savings could be realized if the district reduced the number of buses it purchases.

The report found that the district could save “up to $276,500 by maximizing its use of bus capacity for in-district runs, thereby reducing routes and eliminating the need to replace three buses over the next two years, and another $184,000 in the next year by not replacing two excess buses.”

The report also found that the district could save “about $30,500 annually in operating costs and could reduce costs by sharing out-of-district runs with neighboring school districts; for example, sharing 50 percent of one run would save about $6,000 annually.”

Cafeteria costs at Forestville were also listed in the report.

“During the five-year period ended June 30, 2013, the cafeteria fund experienced operating deficits annually, even with the general fund providing annual transfers of between $15,000 and $20,000,” the report states.

The report further states that benefits for cafeteria workers were charged to the general fund and should have been part of the costs of the cafeteria’s budget.

“Had these expenditures been properly recorded in the cafeteria fund, the fund’s operating loss for the five fiscal years would total over $217,000,” according to the report.

“While none of the findings are a surprise, they do identify a few areas where the district can direct their attention as we move forward,” said Carolyn Robertson, school business administrator.

“We are proud of the audit result indicating that our overall business function and districtwide operations are very healthy and in compliance with a best-practice approach to public school financial practices,” she said.

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