Audit shows Williamston finances in good shape

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During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council heard an audit report and a presentation on town accomplishments over the last five years.
Ken Meadows of Greene Finney Accounting Firm told council the town received an “unmodified opinion” which is “the best it can receive”.
Meadows said the General Fund had decreased by approximately $310,000 to $1,920,000, but was still in very good shape at 53% of the budget. The GFO recommended rate is 16.7 percent (about two months) of the budget. Restricted fund balance for the cemetery fund and Envision Williamston has $102,000. The unassigned fund balance is $1,818,000.
The Town had revenues of $3,087,000 and expenses of $3,450,000.
Revenues were down approximately $250,000 from last year, mainly due to a FEMA grant and a large Envision Williamston grant the town received the pervious year. Meadows also said that some revenues, particularly hospitality tax, had been impacted by COVID.
Hospitality Tax revenues decreased by $33,000, licenses and permits by $49,000, grants by $138,000 and other by $22,000. The town under budgeted for property taxes of $32,000, franchise fees of $21,000, permits and licenses $48,000, grants by $14,000 and other revenues of $46,000.
Expenses decreased $369,000 from 2019 to $3,450,000 million. Expenses included public safety at $1,498,000, general government $803,000, public works $521,000, recreation $425,000 and capital outlay $172,000.
The town was approximately $500,000 over budget. Items included several property purchases, sidewalks improvements, C fund paving match, emergency street repair and ARC grant expenses. Also on capital outlays for a flatbed truck purchased with leftover FEMA money, purchase of police vehicles and a fire vehicle.
Meadows said the items were approved by Council but the budget was not amended to reflect them.
The Water Department had expenses of $200,000 more than the previous year, mainly supplies and depreciation, Meadows said.
“The water fund is in good shape.”
The Sewer Fund saw a decrease in operating expenditures and a $.5 million grant. At $7.5 million the sewer fund is improving.
Meadows said the town may have to do a single audit on a grant account that had a $750,000 change.

Jodi Culbertson presented information on a new Employee Wellness Program the town is considering.
The program encourages a fitness plan with incentives for town employees. Culbertson explained the program is based on moving and exercise and providing motivation to encourage a healthy atmosphere.
Miles can be accumulated by walking, running, jogging, swimming, biking, aerobics, gym workouts and other ways.
Incentives such as shirts, gift cards, a day off, can be tailored for the program, he said. Participants will be recognized and award certificates at the town’s annual employee dinner. The program is budgeted under Employee Morale Mayor Durham said.

Mayor Durham presented information from a survey of town department heads showing how they perceived the town has been doing over the last five years. Department heads listed the top three improvement, accomplishments and the operational condition of their department. He also presented information on improvements and accomplishments the town has had.

Council also approved second reading on indigent defense funding.