By David Meade
Williamston’s Financial Audit showed the town’s General Fund balance decreased from $2.193 million to $2,106 million, however it is still enough to put the town in strong financial condition according to the Green Finney Accounting Firm auditor Ken Meadows.
Meadow’s told Williamston Town Council Monday that the town received an “unqualified opinion” which is the best it can receive.
The audit showed the town’s General Fund balance decreased from $2.193 million to $2.106 million, a decrease of $87,000.
The town has a restricted fund balance of $174,000 which includes the cemetery fund and hospitality tax fund.
Unassigned fund balance of $1,932,000 decreased by $118,000. This fund can be used for planned capital expenditures and other town operations.
The General Fund balance reflects 62 percent of 2017 actual expenditures and 69 percent of 2018 budgeted expenditures, which Meadows said is well above the GFOA recommended 16.7 percent (or about two months of expenditures).
The town had revenues of $2,809,000 derived from $1.051 million in property taxes; $354,000 in franchise fees; $375,000 from licenses and permits; $236,000 from hospitality taxes; $194,000 from sanitation fees and $166,000 for resource officers. The expanded recreation program also brought in more revenues for the town, according to Meadows.
Total revenues were down slightly from 2016 by $44,000 due to a decrease in grants and an increase in other charges for services, Meadows said.
The auditor said the town received $187,000 more in revenue than was budgeted. Hospitality tax revenues were $51,000 more than budgets, license and permits were $50,000 over budget and other revenues from charges for services were $48,000 over the budget. Grant revenue of $29,000 was not budgeted.
General Fund expenditures however, were also over budget, by $449,000.
Expenditures amount to $3.123 million including $1,241,000 for public safety; $541,000 for general government; $427,000 for public works; $382,000 for recreation and $504,000 for capital outlay.
Expenditures were up by $445,000 over 2016.
Meadows said recreation expense increased by $19,000, public safety increased by $43,000, public works increased by $20,000 and Capital outlay increased by $385,000.
General Government decreased by $22,000.
Expenditures were $499,000 over budget, primarily for capital outlay for the purchase of new truck.
Water Enterprise Fund
The Water Enterprise fund had revenues of $1.026 million, an increase of $11,000 over 2016.
Recurring water charges of $979,000 was up by $6,000 and other revenues increased $6,000 to $47,000.
Expenses were $1.036 million compared to $981,000 for 2016.
Increased pension costs amounted to $34,000.
The fund had a change in net position of $10,000 to $2.745 million.
A large net position is needed for future infrastructure repairs and replacement according to Meadows. The town anticipated spending $1 million over the next three years, primarily on the new radio read water meters.
Sewer Enterprise Fund
The Sewer fund had operating revenues of $1,057,000, a decrease of $49,000 from 2016. Recurring sewer charges were down by $28,000.
Operating expenses were up from $834,000 to $924,000.
Opearating income of $133,000 was down from $271,000 in 2016.
Non-opertring income was up at $331,000, primarily from grant revenue of $433,000. The fund had a loss in 2016 of $105,000.
Change in net position amounted to $464,000 for a total net position of $7.1 million. $6.27 million is net investment in capital assets; $353,000 is restricted for debt service leaving a total of $478,000 in unrestricted net position.
Net position is used for infrastructure repairs and replacement Meadows said. He also said the town had additional sewer department cost in 2016 due to a DHEC consent order.
Meadows said under the GASB#34 reporting the town showed revenues of $5,343,000 and expense of $5,040,000 which reflects the town would have made a profit if operating as a business.
“The General Fund and Water Fund are in very good financial condition,” Meadows said. “The sewer fund is in adequate financial condition,” Meadows said, adding they would like to see a long range five year plan for capital expenditures and related funding.
Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said “It was a good, positive report for us.”