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North Lamar ISD received a clean outside audit report from a Texarkana accounting firm last week, and approved a recommendation by the district’s financial director to designate a portion of the district’s $9 million fund balance for special purposes.

Finance director Melissa Darrow recommended and trustees agreed to designate $150,484 for retirement of loans and notes and another $2 million for other purposes to be used for facility maintenance, construction, transportation or other needs.

“What this does is make sure when the Texas Legislature meets next year, and they are looking at where they are going to cut funds, they can look at our financial statements and our fund balance and see that we have commitments to our fund balance,” Darrow said. “It’s just another way to protect our fund balance.”

Outside auditor Kelly Birdwell with Wilf & Henderson of Texarkana gave the board a clean audit with no findings, and confirmed that financial statements for the year ended June 30 have been tested, are fairly stated and can be relied on for good financial decisions.

Birdwell noted the district ended the year with a positive $315,000 to add to fund balance.

“You did a very good job of budgeting conservatively, and in not spending everything that you budgeted,” Birdwell said.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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