For Dare County, audit is fine

Published 5:59 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

On Monday, Jan. 7, Dare County commissioners received an excellent audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

Auditor Bob Taylor with Potter & Company, Mooresville, presented an unqualified audit opinion, stating that the information fairly represented the financial positions of the general fund, business-type activities and other major funds.

Financial management was not criticized. Audits of grants resulted in no findings or questioned costs. Federal grants tested included Medicaid and state grants for disaster relief for Matthew. The last grant finding was in 1996.

After restrictions and assignments, a $24.99 million unassigned fund balance is available for spending at the government’s discretion. This represents 23.77 percent of budgeted expenditures.

Recently, Dare County policy has called for unassigned fund balance to range between 19 and 21 percent, which was exceeded this year for the first time since the great recession. The fund balance last year was 19.86 percent.

Insurance for health and life and general needs operates as an internal service fund. On June 30, 2017, the fund had a positive balance of $86,047. Five years ago, the fund’s deficit stood at $3.07 million.

With these two positive financial results, board Chairman Robert L. Woodard Jr. asked if it was time to seek improvement of the county’s very good AA+ bond rating.

Finance director David Clawson said “I think it’s time.”

Woodard announced that commissioner Rob Ross will move to the chairmanship of the board’s audit committee. Ross replaces Jack Shea, who retired from the board.

Other funds finished the 2017 fiscal year with the following balances:

Beach nourishment, $26.45 million

Disaster recovery, $606,355, policy target is $750,000

C&D landfill, $1.77 million for closure and post-closure costs

E911 Fund, $977,702. Additional funds came from Tyrrell County, $345,041 and Hyde County, $252,160.

Sanitation, $2.31 million, a slight decrease of just over $100,000.

Other post-employment benefit trust, $1.42 million held by state treasurer. Dare is one of 26 counties to have an irrevocable trust. Average annual return for fiscal year 2018 was 5.93 percent. Average return since inception of trust is 8.72 percent.

The audit is contained in the comprehensive annual financial report that will soon be posted on the darenc.com website under finance.

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