County gets clean audit report

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, March 1, 2014

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Wise County’s finances are in good condition, according to outside auditor Snow Garrett and Williams.

Kathy Williams, a representative of the firm, gave a report on the audit for fiscal year 2013 at Monday’s commissioners meeting and said the county is in good financial shape.

Capital assets, which includes land, buildings, roads, bridges, machinery and anything the county uses daily to function, showed a decrease of $2.1 million due to depreciation. In fiscal year 2012, capital assets were valued at $82.7 million and in fiscal year 2013, they dropped to $80.6 million.

Williams said the county’s major capital events in FY 2013 included completion of the Weatherford College Wise County building, road and bridge work, radio tower construction, purchase of a mobile command post and numerous vehicles for various county departments.

She said the county’s debt is also down. In fiscal year 2012, debt stood at $36 million and in FY 2013, it was at $33 million.

Total assets for fiscal year 2013 were at $21.1 million, and total liabilities were $3 million.

The county’s revenues in FY 13 were $50 million and expenditures were $52 million, reflecting a $1.6 million deficiency before financing from outside sources such as transfers, grants and the sale of capital assets.

Public safety accounted for 32 percent of total expenses at $16.3 million, a $344,000 increase from fiscal year 2012. The second largest category of expenses was public transportation at $12 million, which represents 23 percent of total expenses. It decreased $1.1 million from FY 12.

Williams also noted that the county received $1.1 million in federal grants during FY 13, most of which was Homeland Security Grant money. Those dollars were primarily spent on the mobile command post and radio project.

The county’s general fund closed fiscal year 2013 with $5 million in the bank, $2.8 of which is unassigned. This represents 9 percent of the total general fund expenditures and about 32 days operating expenses. The county has a goal of maintaining 25 percent in unassigned funds, which equals about three months of expenditures.

“Twenty-five percent is not a magical number,” Williams said. “There’s no set rule or anything, but it’s pretty standard.”

In other business, commissioners:

  • accepted donations including $263.82 on behalf of Cans for Canines and an anonymous donation of $3,850 to cover the Sheriff’s Office annual banquet;
  • accepted the final plat and granted a variance for the drainage study for Dauenhauer Estates, lots 1-4, block 1 in Precinct 3;
  • accepted a bid from Donald R. Brown for Suite 9632 in Runaway Bay, which has been struck from the Wise County tax roll;
  • approved a proclamation declaring March 16-24 Poison Prevention Week in Wise County; and
  • approved the designation of Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur as a polling place for voting Precincts 2-7 and 2-8.

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