Tryon banks 31.1 percent fund balance in 2015

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 22, 2016

By Leah Justice

The Town of Tryon ended fiscal year 2015 with a 31.1 percent fund balance or $514,822 in its general fund savings available for spending.

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Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, Feb. 16 and heard from Terry Andersen, with Carland & Andersen, Inc., the town’s auditors.

Andersen discussed the town’s fund balance, the town’s tax collection rate and recommendations for improvement in that some of the funds ran at deficits.

As of June 30, 2015, Tryon’s combined ending fund balances totaled $1,069,228, which includes monies that are appropriated for certain expenses.

The state requires an available fund balance of at least eight percent and most small governments have 20 percent or more available for spending in fund balance.

The town’s total debt increased by $39,811 for the general fund during fiscal year 2015 while the town’s total debt decreased by $229,164 in its proprietary funds, according to the audit report.

The town’s adopted general fund budget for fiscal year 2015 totaled $2,314,039, which was a 17.7 percent decrease from the 2014 amended budget of $2,811,668.

The town’s budget for its business-type activities for fiscal year 2015 was $1,861,240, which was 24.8 percent less than the 2014 amended budget of $2,475,127.

Tax collection rates included 98.63 percent for property taxes and 95.69 percent for vehicle taxes, according to Andersen.

Total general fund revenues were $1,763,190, including $922,258 in ad valorem taxes.

The fire department had a total of $289,977 in revenues, including $254,200 in ad valorem taxes.

Harmon Field had $221,145 in revenues, including $170,055 in ad valorem taxes, according to the audit report.

Andersen mentioned a deficit in the fire department fund as well as the sanitation fund. He said the previous concern over the deficits has since been eliminated. He said some improvements in the town’s financials can still be made, including not spending more than budgeted and making amendments to the budget more than just at the end of the year.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples asked about the fire department and sanitation funds being over the original budget. Andersen said over the years those funds have overspent but it shouldn’t be a problem in the future.

Tryon Town Manager and Fire Chief Joey Davis said he explained to the auditors that the town was granted a two cent tax increase this fiscal year, which should take care of the fire department. Sanitation, however, Davis said, the town may need to look at an increase in rates.

Or, Peoples said, the town will transfer sanitation back to the general fund.

Another option, Commissioner Roy Miller said, could be for the town to outsource sanitation services.

The auditors did note one finding for the Town of Tryon. The significant deficiency finding of “adjusting journal entries,” included that the financial accounting system has the potential for errors that may not be prevented or detected by staff in a timely manner. The cause is the current staff does not have the necessary staff time and expertise required to prevent and detect potential errors in the financial accounting system. Carland & Andersen recommends the town consider utilizing its outside accountant in assisting in preventing, detecting and correcting potential errors in the financial accounting system.


The town agrees with the finding and says the town accountant will become more involved in the monthly review process to prevent a recurrence of the errors corrected by the proposed audit adjustments for the June 30, 2015 fiscal year.