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County audit: FY 2013 a 'good year'

Posted: December 12, 2013 3:58 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County experienced a “good year” from a financial standpoint in Fiscal Year 2013, according to results of an audit presented to Kershaw County Council during its meeting Tuesday. Both Chairman Gene Wise and Councilman Jimmy Jones were absent; Vice Chairman Stephen Smoak presided over the meeting.

Sheheen, Hancock & Godwin (SHG) conducted the audit, and SHG auditor Mark Wood presented the findings to council.

When FY 2013 ended June 30, total assets for the general fund were $14.3 million, total liabilities were almost $4.2 million, which left a fund balance this year of $10.1 million, Wood said.

He then relayed a “breakdown of the general fund,” beginning with “non-spendables” which “deal with inventory” at $17,000; restricted, $259,000, with the committed portion of that at $321,000, leaving an unrestricted or unassigned fund balance for the general fund of $9.5 million.

Total revenues for the general fund were $21.3 million; operating expenditures were $21.4 million, leaving a deficiency of revenues over expenditures of $114,000, Wood said.

Transfers and other financing sources for the general fund, which Wood said “dealt with capital lease proceeds for the mobile radios purchased this year” are $1.8 million, which left a positive change in the fund balance this year of $1.7 million.

Smoak asked about a discrepancy within the report where the unassigned general fund balance was listed as $8.7 million though it had been stated as being $9.5 million. The auditor clarified that he believed the listing of $8.7 million in the report “to be a typo,” and later confirmed that $9.5 million is the correct figure.

Wood then presented the sewer fund results. He said total assets were $20.8 million and total liabilities were $9.7 million, leaving a fund balance or net position of a little over $11 million.

Wood offered a breakdown of the net position of the sewer fund, saying that “most of it is tied into net investments and capital assets” is $10.5 million, with a little over $500,000 in restricted, leaving an unrestricted net position for the sewer fund at about $8,700 negative.

“All that means is most of your net position or your fund balance is tied to your capital assets for the sewer fund,” Wood explained.

Total sewer fund revenues are $1.6 million. The operating expenditures for sewer service are $1.3 million. Wood stated that a line item denoted as “other,” which is interest expense for bonds on revenue fund, is $231,000, leaving a positive change of about $12,000.

“You had some other transfers coming from other funds of about $573,000. So your net income for the sewer fund was a little over $580,000,” Wood stated.

He said for both the general fund and the sewer fund 2013 had been “a good year.”

Finally, Wood discussed the county’s other post-employment benefits obligation, commonly referred to OPEB, saying it decreased this year, with liability at around $811,000 whereas last year it was $1.3 million. Wood said that was also “very good.”

General fund revenues exceeded budget by about $500,000. Expenditures exceeded the budgeted amount by $600,000, but financing sources -- mostly lease proceeds -- exceeded budget by $1.7 million. Overall, the county ended with a positive variance over budget because of the lease proceeds.

One finding this year which is down from years past deals with the county not having someone on staff that can write the audit report. Wood said that is the case for most audit reports in most counties.

Smoak thanked Wood and his staff for providing the audit so early and giving council ample time to review the report.

Council also heard considered two ordinances, and:

• unanimously adopted second reading of an ordinance amending the original ordinance governing the county’s recreation advisory committee;

• unanimously approved first reading in title only of an ordinance authorizing and approving development of a joint county industrial and business park in conjunction with Chesterfield County.

County Administrator Vic Carpenter explained that Chesterfield County approached Kershaw County to create “a virtual park” with them, known as Project Apple. Kershaw County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean stated that such a “multi-county industrial park allows a county to offer more incentives when it comes to certain ones called jobs tax credits. It increases the value to the prospect, in this case Project Apple. It also allows the county to, it becomes a fee in lieu of tax, and so the county can utilize that stream as they see fit.”

McLean said she knew no specifics on Project Apple, but that this was a “legal agreement to allow further economic development.”

In new business, council:

• unanimously approved an agreement with Black River Electric Cooperative regarding water services at the Governor’s Hill industrial site;

• unanimously voted to authorize the purchase of four tankers the Kershaw County’s Fire Service;

• unanimously voted to hold a joint meeting regarding economic development with Central Carolina Technical College at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17; and

• discussed the county’s storm water system and stated that it would be added to the next meeting’s agenda.

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