02/22/06 — Commission audit reports fund balance is increasing

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Commission audit reports fund balance is increasing

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 22, 2006 1:52 PM

Auditors told the Wayne County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the county's fund balance has continued to increase over the past three years.

Nancy Brashear, of Nunn Brashear and Co., told commissioners that in 2004, the fund balance represented 15.4 percent of the county's available budget. In 2005, the percentage increased to 15.8. In the past year, the percentage grew to 21 percent of the available budget, or about $16.7 million.

"You have become stronger over the years, and you are showing improvement," Ms. Brashear said.

Wayne Finance Director Norman Ricks said the county's unreserved fund balance is "on target with other counties of our size."

The commissioners raised the property tax rate last year by 7.5 cents per $100 worth of property.

County Manager Lee Smith said the deeper fund balance would make it easier for the county to borrow money should it become necessary to do so to take on large projects. Commissioners have indicated a desire to build and renovate some schools and construct a new animal shelter.

Ms. Brashear said, according to the latest audit conducted by the company, that the county's overall assets have increased more than $6.8 million in the past year. The county's actual revenue was about $82.9 million while the actual expenditures were about $78.9 million.

Following the presentation, the commissioners approved the hiring of Nunn Brashear and Co. to conduct the county's financial and compliance audits for the next three years.

The fee for the first financial audit would be $57,300. In the next two years, the audit cost would increase 4 percent a year, to $59,590 in 2007 and $61,975 in 2008. The fee for the compliance audits also would increase 4 percent per year, starting at $2,185 for 2006 and ending at $2,365 in 2008.