Columbus fund balance decreases but still has 37 percent

Published 10:52 am Monday, January 8, 2018

COLUMBUS – The Town of Columbus decreased its fund balance by 20 percent during fiscal year 2016-2017 but still has a healthy 37.09 percent, according to the annual audit report.

Columbus Town Council heard from Terry Andersen with Carland & Andersen during its Dec. 14 meeting regarding the fiscal year 2016-2017 audit report. The fiscal year ended on June 30, 2017.

Columbus Assistant Finance Director Kathy Gregory said the fund balance decreased by $84,000 last fiscal year, which was planned by the town because of the expansion of the police department. The town took out a $200,000 loan for the expansion and paid for the rest with fund balance.

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The town’s unassigned fund balance at year-end 2017 was $553,009 (37.09 percent) compared to the previous year (2015-2016) of $667,078 (57.48 percent), according to the audit report.

Gregory said if the town hadn’t used fund balance for the building expansion, the town would have had a 47.5 percent fund balance for 2017. She also said the town’s rule is that it keeps at least a 20 percent fund balance. Her rule, she said, is to keep between a 40-50 percent fund balance.

In the general fund, the town’s total revenue was $1,405,605 in 2017 compared to $1,114,050 in 2016. Total expenses for 2017 were $1,491,171 compared to $1,160,466 the previous year.

The town collected 99.11 percent of its taxes in 2017, compared to 99.16 in 2016. There was 100 percent of vehicle taxes collected in both 2016 and 2017 since the state took over those collections at the same time as vehicle registrations. Columbus collected 99.05 percent of real property taxes in 2017, compared to 99.11 percent of real property tax collections in 2016.

The town’s debt also increased during 2017 for the general fund. Columbus’ total debt at June 30, 2017 was $357,923 compared to the general fund debt of 2016 at $183,972, according to the audit.

The water and sewer fund had an operating income of $307,707 during 2016-2017, according to the audit, which was less than 2015-2016, where the water sewer fund had an operating income of $390,355.

Total operating revenue for the water/sewer fund for year-end 2017 was $1,264,224, while the total operating expenses were $956,517, according to the audit. In 2015-2016, the water/sewer fund had $1,262,312 in operating revenue and $871,957 in operating expenses.

Outstanding debt for the town’s water/sewer fund was $4,148,383 at year-end 2017, compared to $4,525,193 at year-end 2016, according to the audit.

The Columbus ABC Store was also reviewed during the audit report. The ABC store had slightly increased sales last year and distributed $10,000 to the town at year-end 2017 compared to zero contributions the previous year.

Gross liquor revenue at the ABC store was $625,354 at year-end 2017 compared to $614,475 at year-end 2016. Gross profit on sales at year-end 2017 was $150,743 compared to $145,858 at year-end 2016. Income from operations was $33,362 in 2017 compared to $19,995 in 2016, according to the audit.

Carland & Andersen did not identify any deficiencies in the town’s internal control that they considered to be material weaknesses, meaning the town had no findings for 2017.


Town of Columbus Audit

                                               Fiscal year 2017                Fiscal year 2016

Powell Bill cash:                   $158,438                              $142,012


Substance cash:                   $42,501                                $86,234

Total fund balance:             $899,898                              $984,464

Available fund balance:      $533,009                              $667,078

Total revenue:                      $1,406,605                           $1,114,050

Total expenses:                    $1,491,171                           $1,160,466