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DL Schools reports positive fiscal year

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Detroit Lakes School Board members discussed finances once again at Monday's monthly meeting.

District Business Manager Ted Heisserer reported a positive increase in the $8.2 million general fund for fiscal year 2009-10 due to increasing enrollment.

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The district now faces a $59,000 surplus.

"Enrollment is up and that's driving a better financial picture," Heisserer said.

He added that four fewer-than-expected retirements led to four fewer severance packages paid out this year.

The board also learned that state officials will for sure pay back the $2.4 million in aid delays on May 30, therefore the district will not need to borrow short-term loans, Heisserer reported.

But a line of credit has been set up in case state officials delay payments again in the fall.

"They're in control of this game," board member Tom Klyve said, adding that trends show declining state aid and increasing cuts.

Board member Tom Seaworth suggested using some of the money in reserves now toward necessary projects before state officials get their hands on it.

The latest state budget forecast, a $4.57 billion deficit over fiscal year 2010-11 doesn't show a lot of promise for K-12 education funding.

"We are the state's banker right now but we don't get any interest," Superintendent Doug Froke said.

So it's better to hold on to any money in reserves because the state may need to borrow again this fall, he added.

"The same issue is going to be staring us in the face come September, October," Froke said.

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