WHITEFIELD, Maine — After two years of operating in a deficit that reached $1.5 million in 2010, RSU 12 is in the black again, according to a recent audit of the Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit.

According to District Superintendent Greg Potter, the debt appeared after the start-up of the RSU in July of 2010 when the new district took on the debt of the prior school units. The problem was caused when towns in the district didn’t transfer summer payroll funds to the new district office after the start of the 2011 fiscal year. As a result, according to Potter, the district was forced to borrow money to cover costs until revenue arrived.

“We sort of refer to that as the elephant,” said Potter. “Over time what we’ve tried to do with good accounting procedures is build up the fund balance.”

According to a financial audit submitted to the district last month by CPA William H. Brewer of Bath, the district has gone from $1.5 million in the red to about $118,000 in the black. For the past two years, the district has spent about $500,000 less than revenues, resulting in the positive audit report.

The audit report is available at the district’s central office in Whitefield and will be posted soon at www.svrsu.org, said Potter. RSU 12 serves the towns of Alna, Chelsea, Palermo, Somerville, Westport Island, Whitefield, Windsor and Wiscasset.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.