Thursday, March 18, 2021

College district's fiscal prudence rewarded

Grossmont College's new performing arts center
 The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board recently received good news reflecting the district’s wise handling of taxpayer dollars.

  • The district received the best marks possible in audit reports for the 17th year in a row.
  • A series of Proposition V bonds are being refinanced-for an expected $8 million in savings to taxpayers over the life of the bonds.
  •  The district’s insurance company gave a rebate of almost $500,000 to the district, reflecting lower costs for worker’s compensation claims.
“We take our responsibility as stewards of public funds very seriously,” said Lynn Neault, district chancellor. “Our district is continuing to provide an excellent education to Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students while carefully managing our district’s finances.”

At the Governing Board meeting Tuesday night, reports by independent auditors gave the district’s financial oversight the equivalent of an A grade. The reports detailed the district’s general audit, as well as independent reviews of the financials of the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, the district’s auxiliary, and the management of Proposition V, the construction bond approved by East County voters in 2012.

“We have clean, unmodified opinions – the best you can get,” Todd McDonald, associate vice chancellor of Business Services said in unveiling the state-mandated audits to the Governing Board.

The “unmodified” opinion of the report is the best type to be issued from an external auditor, indicating no deficiencies in internal controls or compliance. The general audit by the certified public accounting firm CWDL gave the district a clean bill of health but noted in its analysis two minor recordkeeping findings that the district will remedy in time for a routine follow-up review.

McDonald also noted that a performance audit of Proposition V was conducted to ensure building funds are being spent as promised to taxpayers in the language of the bond. Auditors analyzed 70 percent of all Prop. V transactions and confirmed that the district has properly accounted for all expenditures.

Major Proposition V-funded construction underway this year includes a $34.2 million Student Services Building and a $17 million renovation of the Ornamental Horticulture Complex, both at Cuyamaca College. Recently completed projects include a $44 million Performing and Visual Arts Center and $13.2 million Phase 1 of the Science Math and Career Technology complex at Grossmont College.

“These are excellent reports,” said Board President Brad Monroe. “It’s never easy to get this clean of an audit. I know it doesn’t just happen.”

Monroe said the construction bond fund audits affirm the public’s confidence in voting for $398 million Prop. V. The passage of Prop. V paved the way for the district to continue the work started a decade earlier with Prop. R that has resulted in the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities at the colleges.

To take advantage of lower interest rates, the district is refinancing $80 million worth of Prop. V bonds, which is anticipated to save taxpayers $8 million over the life of the bonds.

In another bit of good financial news, the college district will receive an insurance rebate of nearly $500,000 for its effective handling of its workers compensation program. A representative of the Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs noted that the district has had more than $2 million returned over the past several years due to its efficient oversight of insurance practices.

 The district’s two colleges, Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, together serve more than 26,000 students.

For information about the college district, go to  www.gcccd.edu















 

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