Dare leaders reaffirmed; audit excellent

Published 2:41 pm Monday, December 9, 2019

On Monday, Dec. 2, Robert L. “Bob” Woodard and Wally Overman retained leadership of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

This is the sixth, one-year term for each.

Woodard was nominated for chairman by commissioner Ervin Bateman and was elected by a 6-0 vote, with Woodard not participating. Overman was nominated by commissioner Rob Ross and was unanimously elected to the post of vice chairman.

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These leaders and the entire board received a very upbeat audit report.

“This is an excellent financial report,” said county manager Robert L. Outten, who praised department heads and staff.

Auditor Bob Taylor with Potter & Company, P.A. delivered an unmodified audit opinion. No management letter was submitted. No material weaknesses were noted. No findings and no questioned costs were cited.

This audit for Fiscal Year 2019, ending June 30, 2019, is subject to review by the state’s Local Government Commission.

Taylor highlighted the county’s success in managing the self-insured health fund. For several years, fund costs exceeded revenue and a deficit was created. In 2018, that deficit was wiped out. In fiscal year 2019, the monetary cushion in the fund continued to grow. The insurance fund balance is now $1.49 million.

The unassigned fund balance is 27% of budgeted expenditures, which covers about three months of operating expenses. The board’s current policy range is 19 to 21 percent for unassigned fund balance. A policy revision will be considered at budget time, reported finance director David Clawson.

A new accounting standard requires separating private placement debt from public sales of debt and disclosing any negative impacts.

In North Carolina, school capital debt is assigned to counties, while school boards list the school buildings as an asset. Thus, the counties have no asset to match debt.

In Dare County’s case, debt without corresponding asset totals $150 million. However, the reported deficit is $572,717, considered a favorable number.

The Fiscal Year 2018 audit received a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association. This is the 28th time the award has been presented to Dare County.



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