By David Meade
Ken Meadows of Greene, Finney and Horton Accounting Firm presented the annual audit for the Town of Williamston to council during their meeting Monday evening.
Meadows said the Town received an “Unmodified Opinion” which is “the best it can get” and had no management letter issues.
He said the General Fund and Water Fund are in “very good financial condition” and that the Sewer Fund “is in adequate condition.”
Meadows did recommend the town begin developing a long range plan, such as a five year plan for capital expenditures and related funding.
Total revenues were up. Public Safety, General Government and Recreation had increased expenditures, with public works and capital outlays decreasing.
According to information presented: The General Fund Balance decreased $131,000 from $2.1 million to $1.97 million.
The Restricted Fund balance has $182,000 in it, primarily for the Cemetery Fund and Envision Williamston.
The Cemetery Fund has $52,722 and the Hospitality Tax Fund has $115,923. The rest is drug forfeiture and victim’s advocate.
The unassigned General Fund balance showed a decrease of $139,000 and is currently at $1,793,000.
According to Meadows, that amounts to 52 percent of 2018 actual expenditures and 62 percent of 2019 budgeted expenditures.
The GFOA recommends at least 17 percent, or two months expenditures, be in the fund. The town is well above that, he said. “You have a real healthy fund balance even though it decreased,” he said.
According to Meadows, the fund balance is used for cash flow, planned future capital expenditures and significant repairs and maintenance; emergencies and unanticipated expenditures, flexibility for discretionary funding needs and potential for better interest rates on debt issues. It is also available to cover potential shortfalls in the budget due to unexpected State budget cuts or changes in legislation..
General Fund Revenues showed a $390,000 increase from 2017, to $3,199,000. Meadows said the town “has a nice mix of revenues.”
Revenues were: $1,128,000 from Property taxes; $363,000 Franchise fees $363,000; Licenses and permits $397,999; Hospitality taxes $250,000; Sanitation Fees $221,000 and Resource Officers $238,000.
The increase came from property taxes $77,000; grants of $59,000, Resource Officers two $72,000; and other revenues $77,000.
A number of the revenues came in over the budgeted amount including:
Hospitality Taxes $35,000; Licenses and permits $72,000; Other charges for services $28,000, Grant Revenue $73,000 and other revenues, $131,000 over budget.
General Fund Expenditures were $3,426,000.
Of that, Public Safety expenditures increased $126,000 to $1,368,000; General Government expenditures increased $150,000 to $692,000 and Recreation expenditures increased by $137,000 to $520,000.
Public Works had a decrease of $57,000 to $370,000, and Capital Outlay decreased by $86,000 to $418,000.
General Fund expenditures were $644,000 over budget, primarily Capital Outlay over by $387,000; General Government over by $167,000 and Public Safety over budget $54,000.
The Water Fund had an increase in revenues of $76,000, to $1,102,000 and expenses were down from $1,036,000 to $954,000. The reduction was due to decreased costs by $111,000.
The Net Position for the fund stands at $2,856,000 compared to $2,745,000 for 2017.Meadows said a large net position is needed for future infrastructure and replacement. He said the town anticipates spending over a million dollars on current water line projects.
The Sewer Fund also saw an increase in revenues of $111,000 with operating revenues of $1,168,000. Operating expenditures were from $924,000 to $1,102,000.
The fund has a change in Net Position from $7,100,000 to $7,067,000. Meadows said a consent order from 2016 added additional operating costs for the department.
By David Meade