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Harrison BOE approves audit, hires two new coaches

 Erich T. Doerr | Review Correspondent

The Harrison School Board met on Monday to receive the results of an outside audit of the district and approve the hiring of 5 high school sports coaches.

After a slow November when its meeting did not have enough members to met quorum the board got right down to business Monday. The main matter of business was a presentation of audit results by Shannon Wilson, a CPA from the Clare offices of Weinlander Fitzhugh. Wilson presented her data from a PowerPoint showing the school had a general revenue of $11.7 million, program revenues of $4.2 million and an increase in net assets of $907,000 over last year.

Wilson went on to talk about the school’s general fund saying it currently had an excess of $2.4 million. She listed the school’s total assets at $17 million with $10.9 million in liabilities, both current and long term, putting its total net assets $6.1 million. Wilson’s data listed the school’s total capital assets at a total of $20,169,143 as an increase over 2011′s $19,856,990.

While the financial picture was good Wilson did note one weakness found during the audit. She reported the district could improve its performance when it comes to the financial reporting process but otherwise was very solid.

Following the approval of the audit the board took on four actions items regarding hiring new coaches and approved all of them. The first hired former eighth grade boys basketball coach Jim Hoshield to take over the boys Junior Varsity team. Hoshield’s old position was then filled by former seventh grade coach Chris Fletcher with Jamie Lipovsky then chosen to take over the seventh grade team. The board also approved Nichole Carlstrom to take over coaching the seventh grade girls basketball team.

In addition to the new coaches the board also approved keeping Becky Haskin as the coach of the school’s bowling teams. Alongside the coaches the board also agreed with the hiring of Carol Mason as a part-time health aide to assist with elementary school students.

Earlier in the meeting the board discussed its $500 scholarship that it issues each year. The board quickly reviewed how it is given out, with students applying to their counselors before the recipients are chosen by committee, before easily coming to a consensus to continue it.

“You know we’re going to do it,” board member Dan Pechacek said.

The board also discussed pending legislation that could repeal Michigan’s personal property tax with no replacement. According to superintendent Thomas House this would mean less funding from the state to the schools and higher millages to pay their bonds.

“Watch your email and your paper,” House said. “Updates are coming practically by the hour.”

The meeting ended with a closed session that was proceeded by discussions of purchasing two new trucks for the district. According to House the district has two box trucks mainly used by food services and occasionally used for moving furniture and band equipment. One of the trucks is a 1993 model and the other a 1996.

“The 93 needs to replaced,” House said, noting the truck has rusted out and the road is now visible through the floor boards.

The box truck is not the only truck in question as the board also discussed the fate of a pickup used for plowing on school property known by the nickname ‘Big Red.’ According to House ‘Big Red’ also has a bad frame but the truck is still usable for now while they look for a replacement.

The board approved the decision to purchase a box truck and a plow truck and set aside $15,000 for each. House said that would be an adequate price but didn’t expect either of the new trucks to cost that much as they won’t be buying brand-new ones. He said they were looking at trucks that are several years old but still in good shape and trucks like that should cost about $12,000. Some money is going to come from the sale or scrapping of the 1993 truck while ‘Big Red’ is going to stay for now but House noted they may restrict the vehicle to school property.

“It’s something we need to have,” Pechacek said of the newer trucks.

On a light note Monday’s meeting discussed the district being part of the Sam’s Club Teacher’s Rewards Program. As such the school was given 20 $50 gift cards that were distributed to teachers working in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“Anytime we can help the teachers get supplies is good,” school board president N. Marie Roth said.