Lake High School 2021

The main entrance to Lake High School. 

MILLBURY — The Flyers are in fantastic financial shape, according to the five-year forecast for Lake Local Schools.

Treasurer Monica Leppelmeier presented the information at Wednesday’s board of education meeting.

The main revenue drivers for the district are real estate taxes, Ohio Department of Education funding and a tax abatement from First Solar.

She is expecting a small reduction in interest revenues as higher yield investments mature.

In 2020, Lake received a rebate from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

“Last year we received a large BWC rebate that we are not anticipating receiving this year,” Leppelmeier said.

Open enrollment, and the revenue that comes with it, is still strong in Lake. But now it’s being reported and recorded differently, she said.

“Open enrollment in — or tuition revenue — will be reduced and added to the ODE funding line,” Leppelmeier said. “This is basically just a technicality of the new funding formula. They’re just changing how we account for open enrollment and tuition from other districts.”

“We’re still on the plus side on open enrollment?” board President Tim Krugh asked.

“Correct, it’s just not as easy to find,” Leppelmeier said. “It’s not straight forward, as much as it was previously.”

Overall revenue for fiscal year 2022 will be down slightly from this year. It is expected to be $17.9 million next year and was $18.8 million in 2021.

She said that the biggest chunk of expenses is salaries, followed by benefits and purchased services. Total fiscal year 2022 expenses will be $17.8 million.

“Our forecasted salaries are very conservative, up only 2.85% for FY22,” Leppelmeier said.

Both contracts with the teachers and employees unions end this year, and she is planning for 2% increases.

“We are anticipating a small increase in supplies with inflation impacting schools,” she said.

She showed a graph of days cash that Lake is expected to have on hand to operate. In fiscal year 2021 it is 105, FY22 108, FY23 100, FY24 101, FY25 86 and FY26 68.

“I would say, honestly, that’s a very healthy five-year forecast,” Leppelmeier said.

Salaries and benefits as a percentage of revenue are 72% in FY21, 78% in FY22, 79% in FY23, 77% in FY24, 81% in FY25 and 84% in FY26.

Lake will end FY22 with a $355,000 surplus. There is a deficit of $285,000 in FY23, followed by a surplus of $239,000 in FY24.

“That is when we are anticipating the second phase of the First Solar abatement,” Leppelmeier said.

She expects the district will have a deficit of $525,000 in fiscal year 2025. This is due to the loss of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding, she said.

Some of the positions funded with CARES money include the middle school principal, coaches for English language arts and math, and an instructor for kids who are in line waiting in the mornings and afternoons.

Krugh said they will have to take a look at all those positions, after the CARES money expires.

“That’s quite a bit of a hit there,” he said. “We’ve done a good job of spending it and implementing it into programs.”

Leppelmeier also showed the top fund balances.

Food service is at $625,000.

“We are so blessed to have that. A lot of districts are advancing money to their food service fund,” she said.

The severance fund has $100,000, permanent improvement has $308,000 and the general fund has $5.2 million.