BY JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County received a clean opinion Wednesday from auditing firm Snow Garrett & Williams.
Kathy Williams, a partner with the firm, presented the annual financial report for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012, to the court.
“In our opinion financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects,” she said. “As of Sept. 30, 2012, the year ended in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.”
The auditor did note a finding. A liability account in one of the agency funds had not been reconciled and was significantly overstated.
It was described in the audit as a significant deficiency on a Schedule for Findings and Questioned Costs.
“There’s an agency fund where state fees are collected, and that goes into a liability account to be paid back to the state,” Williams explained.
“But the liability account was not reduced when that liability was paid, and instead it was expensed in the general fund, so we had a significant journal entry that actually increased fund balance in your general fund and adjusted that liability to what it should have been.”
Williams said the firm was recommending the county reconcile agency fund liability accounts annually and set up different accounts.
“The plus side of this is that we actually have $400,000 that we didn’t think we had,” County Judge Mark Riley said. “This is one of those good things.”
“It was expended out of the general fund, and it shouldn’t have been,” Williams responded, “so actually it’s picked up as if it were revenue in the general fund.”
Williams pointed out several things out to the court.
She showed that total capital assets at the end of 2012 had decreased almost $2.4 million, from $75.9 million to $73.5 million.
“You had your $16 million in capital asset additions for the 2012 fiscal year, but then you also delegated over $15 million of infrastructure and land to local governmental entities, so that’s the main thing.”
The county’s debt decreased from $82.7 million to $80.1 million, reflecting normal debt payments, she said.
Total assets — on a governmental basis, not including capital assets — were noted as $27.8 million, with 87 percent of that in cash and investments,
Total liabilities totaled $3.7 million, so the total fund balance — the difference between assets and liabilities — came to $24 million.
Of that, $6.4 million was in the general fund, $3.9 million in the lateral road fund, $8.9 million in capital projects, and $1.8 million in debt service.
Total governmental revenues were $59.2 million, with $37.2 million from property taxes, $9.4 million from fees of office and $6.7 million from sales taxes.
Total governmental expenditures totaled $70.6 million, with $16.7 million due to capital outlays, $15.5 million for law enforcement, $11.3 million for judicial and $9.6 million for roads and bridges.
After accounting for another $540,000 from other financing sources, the net change in fund balance was a $10.9 million decrease, which Williams attributed mainly to the capital projects fund.
“As I have explained to you in previous years, that money all comes in on a governmental basis in one year, and it takes several years to spend that money,” she said. “That’s what you’re seeing, the spending down of that capital projects fund.”
Williams noted the $4.1 million positive change in the general fund balance, related to revenues increasing and expenditures decreasing from the prior year.
“What happened in having that increase in fund balance is your general unassigned fund balance is now at 19 percent, or 67 days of your general fund expenditures, and that’s compared to 6 percent the previous year, or 20 days.
“So that’s the first time we’ve seen that kind of increase in a long time. That’s a very good financial trend — to save some money and have those funds available.”
Williams also noted a $435,000 increase in the lateral road fund balance.
The audit reported the individual fund balances for each precinct, showing Precinct No. 1 with a balance of $1 million; Precinct No. 2 with a balance of $1.1 million; Precinct No. 3 with a balance of $872,000 and Precinct No. 4 with a $1 million balance.
A single audit of federal awards, which totaled $616,000 — mainly from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — produced no findings.
“Over all it was a really good year, financially, for the county,” Williams said. “We have several things that we have spoken with the auditor’s office about, key areas to continue working on and some improvements to make.
“It was a good thing the agency fund liability came up, a good thing for everyone to learn from and move forward and handle a little bit differently moving forward.”
Riley thanked Williams and talked about how county processes have improved through the years through outside audits and proper internal auditing.
He attributed the growth in the unassigned fund balance to the county auditor’s office and the court.
Williams spoke to the importance of paying attention to internal controls.
“Just being open to changes in controls, strengthening controls, and having those procedures and policies in place and asking everyone to follow them consistently are key to keeping the county moving and growing improving,” she said.
one finding noted
BY JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
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Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
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