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Singleton charter erases deficit, but YMCA still in the red

The Dryades YMCA is in the red for nearly $717,700 for the budget year-to-date, the organization’s board of directors was told at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Expenses for the Central City facility have come so far to more than $2 million, but revenue  is only at about $1.3 million, chief finance officer Catrina Reed told board members during a finance committee report.

The numbers were based on activity from the beginning of the fiscal year to Oct. 31. The YMCA’s fiscal year ends Dec. 31.

The Dryades YMCA-James M. Singleton Charter School Board of Directors oversees the YMCA as well as the charter school. The school’s finances are looking better in comparison to the Y’s.

During the finance committee report, Reed told board members that the James M. Singleton Charter School has revenue so far of about $2 million and nearly $1.9 in expenses, leaving year-to-date excess revenue of about $139,800.

The school’s fiscal year started July 1.

In August, a financial report showed that the Dryades YMCA and the James M. Singleton Charter School ended the 2012-13 fiscal year with a combined deficit of more than $1.09 million.

At the meeting Tuesday, board member and former New Orleans City Councilman James Singleton expressed concern that the Dryades YMCA was still in deficit.

“I don’t see any change in what’s going on,” Singleton said to Reed, members of the finance committee and Board Chairman H. Kenneth Johnston.  “Y’all have done nothing as far as I can see to deal with the deficit problem.”

In response to Singleton’s concern, Chief Operating Officer Gregory Phillips said the board would try to find solutions for the organization’s increasing deficit.

“We’ll get on it,” Phillips said. “We’ll take care of it.”

Johnston added that the board had already made difficult cuts to staff and programming in order to stanch the “financial bleeding,” but that it would take some time for the cuts to make a difference with the organization’s bottom line.

“We are working tirelessly to get this deficit down,” Johnston said. “But it’s not going to take overnight.”

Board member Sharon Sheridan added that the Dryades YMCA needed to secure more funding, possibly in the form of grants, to keep running without deficit.

“If you have no revenue and keep having expenses, you’re going to have a deficit,” Sheridan said. “It’s simple math.”

Board members had hoped that the 2012 annual Dryades YMCA campaign would raise $200,000, but the campaign  raised only $22,267, according to a report given by Director Jay H. Banks.

Part of the reason for the low contribution was because of a fluke in the payment system. According to board members at the meeting, some members had volunteered to pay a monthly amount, but the payment was never taken out of their accounts because the automated bank draft was never set up.

“That’s our fault that we didn’t get that together,” Phillips said. “We’ll do a better job this time.”

The organization had asked for contributions from board members and staff, and it has made other solicitations as well.

This coming year, Phillips said the board would try to raise $100,000.

In other news, Principal Debra Robertson announced that the school’s grade with the Louisiana Department of Education moved up from an “F” to a “D.”

The school also is preparing students for new Common Core-based testing, Robertson said. She added that parents were now able to view students’ grades online, and that the school has put an intervention team in place to help students who have fallen behind grade level.

The meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes.

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