Research finds no money missing from Touchet ASB accounts

A School Board member and teacher did find some money misplaced in other accounts, however.


TOUCHET -- Research by Touchet School Board member Sandra Bradley and teacher Cathy Plucker show that there is no money missing from Associated Student Body accounts, although some funds were misplaced in other accounts.

Bradley and Plucker did find $1,840.75 that was mistakenly taken from the class of 2013's account to pay for Camp Wooten. It should have been paid from another fund, and the class should be refunded, Plucker said.

Their findings were consistent with the Washington State Auditor's recent report, which showed some problems with the ASB accounts, although the audit did not find evidence of missing money.

Superintendent Skip Berquam commented on the audit, saying it showed the major problem it revealed was inaccurate bookkeeping.

The overstated debt service fund ending balance was also a bookkeeping error, Berquam said. The debt service is handled through the county treasurer's office, and the money does not come through the school district. As with the ASB accounts, auditors did not find evidence of missing money, Berquam said.

"It is not a good audit. But it is being addressed. You have addressed it," Berquam told the board.

In another matter, the board approved reinstatement of middle school fall sports. Although elimination of middle school sports was one of the items targeted in budget reductions when the 2010-2011 budget was created, the budget actually has $11,000 more for total coaching, Berquam said.

"The budget shows the capacity to carry these," he said.

The board only approved fall middle school sports and will consider subsequent seasons separately. The vote was unanimous.

In another money matter, Bradley and board member Mandy Thompson reported on their examination of the month's vouchers. It was a learning experience, they said.

Bradley noted that the district's electric bill is $5,500 a month. She recommended more oversight be made to making sure lights are turned off, and heaters turned down when buildings and rooms are not in use.

They also discovered a couple of errors, which had also been detected and corrected by the business manager.

The board took a money-saving step by passing a resolution to proceed with refinancing a bond. On Thursday, the interest rate was 2.77 percent. Presently the district is paying 4.91 percent.

If the bond is refinanced, a process that will take six weeks, any savings will go to taxpayers, not to the district, Berquam said.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at or 522-5289.


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