NORWAY — School Administrative District 17 Business Manager Cathy Coffey told the board of directors on Monday evening that the district ended its 2016-17 fiscal year with a fund balance of $1.60 million.

That’s an increase of $257,358, or 1.82 percent, over the previous fiscal year.

A total of $696,058 of the $1.60 million was not allocated.

Coffey said the unaudited financial report for July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, showed a beginning balance of $815,000.

“It’s pretty healthy,” said Coffey of the fund balance.

She presented the financial report at the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway. She said it showed all cost centers, including instruction, special education, vocational, transportation and others ended the fiscal year in the black. All saw increases in their fund balance.

Coffey said overall, the district budget came in $1.06 million underbudget.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts told directors that the average school district sees about 2 to 3 percent carryover each year in funds, but SAD 17 usually sees closer to 1 percent.

The decision to withhold a large contingency during the last budgeting process was based on the lack of state revenue figures by the end of the fiscal year June 30.

In June, voters in seven of the eight SAD 17 towns approved the $39.6 million budget by a vote of 1,286 to 829. The 2017-18 budget reflected a $1.47 million reduction in state subsidy and a 4.19 percent increase in local assessments, but it was based on unknown state revenue figures.

Voters also authorized directors to spend above the Essential Programs and Services recommendation by $1.86 million.

Part of the excess state revenue — about $500,000 — the district received in August was used to offset assessments in each of the eight district towns.

“That was our goal and we accomplished that goal, but at what cost?” he asked directors when they questioned the the high increase in the fund balance at the end of the fiscal year.

Colpitts said there are numerous places the money could have been applied such as foreign language programs and implementing a late start for school.

“There’s a lot of irons in the fire. Every one will cost you at least $1 million,” he said.

The financial records will be certified by the auditors, who have reviewed the financial documents, and presented to the directors by December.

The board also:

 Unanimously approved Oxford Hills Middle School Principal Paul Bickford’s request to create and house an informal food pantry at the school. The idea was initiated by the Student Council whose members volunteered to distribute the food; and

• Approved a bid of $6,300 to for paving at Oxford Elementary School and Gouin Athletic Complex; and $16,200 to raise the Gouin Athletic Complex skybox by 2 feet for better viewing from the new grandstand.

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School Administrative District 17 Director Jared Cash of Norway, third from front, questions Business Manager Cathy Coffey about the unaudited fiscal year financial report she unveiled at Monday night’s meeting. Directors George Coffren of Paris and Barry Patrie of Waterford review the numbers along with other directors.

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