By Clint Parker
Woodfin – Last month, Woodfin Aldermen heard the results from the town’s latest financial audit. The Tribune obtained a copy of that 55-page report completed by the accounting firm Ray, Bumgarner Kingshill & Associates out of Waynesville. Here is a closer look at the numbers and the results of the audit.
Woodfin’s net position, the assets of the town exceeding its liabilities, increased over a quarter of million dollars over the previous year. As the 2019 fiscal year ended in June 2019, Woodfin had $1.788 million in net assets compared to only $1.52 million at the end of 2018’s year.
Like most local governments, the most significant portion of the budget goes to public safety at $1.704 million of last year’s $3.919 million budget. That was followed by transportation and sanitation at $1,090,060, general government costs at $1,012 million, recreation at $101,267 and debt service interest at $11,222.
One of the town’s outstanding debts is pension-related debt, which amounts to nearly a million dollars ($962,367) of the $3.862 million in total debt or about 25 percent of the debt. The town’s direct placement installment debt decreased by $260,303 as a result of payments made during the year on installment loans.
According to state statutes, a town’s general obligation is limited to eight percent of the total assessed value of taxable property located within that town’s boundaries, says the report. That makes the legal limit of the town’s debt at about $67 million. The town had a fund balance back at the end of June 2019 of $2.464 million.
The report also noted that the town had exceeded the authorized appropriations made by the governing board by $133,740. The report says the overage was because of “…wages exceeding the original appropriation, loss of two police vehicles, an aging fleet, a missed order for vehicles in [the] current period, an unbudgeted cash payment in association with the town’s project development bonds and excess expenditures for the community center.” The report cites the reason for this overage as “Staff turnover in the administration department” as the “most likely” cause for the overspending.