Ashland City Schools building

ASHLAND — Ashland City Schools officials have approved a five-year financial forecast that predicts growth in revenue through 2024 and a small deficit between revenue and expenditures in 2026.

Board member Gina Deppert, who also works as a treasurer in a different school district, said the forecast shows Ashland district is “doing really well.”

“We’re pleased to see that our deficit spending — we’re not really projecting that until year five of the forecast and that’s great because of a lot of circumstances and economic issues can change between now and then,” she said shortly after the board’s unanimous approval.

The forecast shows a deficit of $639,583 in year five, or 2026.

An earlier draft of the five-year plan showed deficit spending of $62,325 in year four, or 2025, and $1,049,926 in 2026.

Deppert is still optimistic because the district’s forecast includes conservative figures in terms of what the district expects from state funding. House Bill 110, passed July 1, has yet to hit school coffers.

“We are almost halfway into our fiscal school year and we still are basing this forecast on projections,” Deppert said. “But I’m proud to say … that we are continuing to show a very strong financial district and that’s through very hard work with our leadership, our educators, all of our staff members that have bene involved and working together.”

The forecast also considers the yet-to-be-determined value of the 713-mile Rover Pipeline. The pipeline carries natural gas from processing plants in Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia to markets across country.

The $4.3 billion pipeline, which has two 42-inch lines, came online in 2018 and 2019. Ohio’s excise tax for natural gas pipelines is 6.75%, which is assessed based on the value of the pipeline.

Rover appealed and lost its valuation with the Ohio tax commission. Then the company filed with the state board of tax appeals, where the case is pending now. The next hearing is scheduled for May.

“It is anticipated that payment in (fiscal year 2022) and beyond will be based on the appealed value, reducing (Rover’s) annual payment by approximately $1,569,000,” read the district’s forecast report.

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