Audit Report Presented To PE Supervisors

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD — The Virginia Department of Transportation is about to close on property they plan to purchase in the County’s business park. Once that is done, the County would receive the payment—$640,000.

However, County Administrator Wade Bartlett pointed out at the board’s January meeting that to balance the budget, they pulled $664,000 from the fund balance. The income, a transfer from the Industrial Development Authority once the check is received, was always designed to offset that.

VDOT had previously announced plans to purchase the site and to move its Dillwyn Residency to the site off of Commerce Road.

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The board touched on the sale of the land as part of a report on the County’s audit for the year ending last June. Bartlett cited that the County’s assets decreased by approximately $3.7 million for the year, with the vast majority, $2.8 million, connected with Granite Falls Boulevard (a road construction project that included revenue sharing funds from the County). While it was being constructed, the road and the land was on the County’s books, when it was completed and turned over to VDOT, it went off the County’s books. There was also the increase in expenses associated with the jail, increases in expenses for schools and the cost of assessments.

Cash, Bartlett also cited, has decreased by approximately $540,000, which he said is “a better result than what our budget called for.” It had factored drawing over $1 million from the fund balance.

He credited savings in various departments.

Factoring cash in the economic development fund, the County has $7.8 million in available and unrestricted cash. Outstanding debt, it was also reported, decreased by $956,721.

“Overall, we’re still in a strong financial position compared to many counties, cities and towns,” Bartlett said. “Even though our cash fell, we still have plenty to see our ups and downs.”

Organizational Matters

January is the typical organizational meeting for the board, but there will be little change in the coming year. Regular monthly meetings will continue on second Tuesdays, the board adopted by-laws (adding the stipulation that motions need a second), will continue to operate (with the exception of a personnel and finance committee) as a committee as a whole, will continue with rules of procedure for public hearings, protocol for public participation and protocol for board of supervisors comments.

The personnel committee will continue with Chairman Howard Simpson, C.R. “Bob” Timmons, and Jerry Townsend; the finance committee will also continue the same. It will be chaired by Pattie Cooper-Jones, and members Timmons, Robert “Bobby” Jones and Chairman Simpson.

Supervisor Jim Wilck pitched that the time limit for speakers in the protocol for public participation be enforced uniform. The policy outlines a five-minute maximum. It was noted in the policy that the chairman can grant additional time.

The chairman and vice chairman are elected to serve for two years in even years and were not part of the organizational process.

Treasurer Explains

The state auditor of public accounts in a November letter to the County detailed that they had reviewed commonwealth collections and remittances of the treasurer, commissioner of the revenue and sheriff for the year ending June 30. It was noted that the three have complied in all material aspects with state laws, regulations and other procedures relating to the receipt, disbursement and custody of state funds except that the treasurer delayed sending sheriff’s fees totaling $7,290 to the state (fees are required to be remitted weekly or twice each week when collections exceed $5,000), and that the treasurer did not perform timely and adequate monthly reconciliations of the accounting records of the Commonwealth Accounting and Reporting System reports provided by the department of accounts.

“We print off a deposit certificate every day showing the state money that we have received,” she told the board. “On this day in particular, the deposit certificate did not print out with the money on it. Since then, we have remitted the correct money to the state and each week now we are running a report to make sure the money that we have taken into the office matches the money that we have submitted to the state.”

Bartlett explained that the funds are not County funds. The treasurer collects certain funds that go directly to the state. The collection was there, he explained, it was not remitted in a timely fashion. “That was the audit finding…and the reconciliation.”

In Other News…

*Bartlett introduced Robert Fowler as the County’s new director of planning and community development.

*VDOT Residency Administrator Kevin Wright reported that work on the Back Hampden-Sydney Road is coming along, though at this point it is the utility relocation. It will be advertised for full construction.

Wright also reported that they’re all set for winter, are stocked up on salt and sand and things they need.

He also reminded the board of the upcoming workshop with the board for the secondary six-year plan. A hearing on a proposal would be held sometime before July 1. Wright also reported that the Sailor’s Creek Bridge Project would be advertised toward the end of the year.

*The board approved a resolution correction mileage inventory for VDOT’s logs.

*Supervisors appointed Prospect Supervisor Calvin Gray to the Granite Falls Community Development Authority. Timmons noted that they had not met in the past year and questioned if there is still a need for the CDA. He offered that they (the CDA) need to hold a meeting to discuss where they go. Having a CDA allows the board to offer certain economic development incentives they cannot otherwise do, Bartlett offered.

The board is scheduled to meet in a budget work session January 29 at 9 a.m.; a Granite Falls CDA meeting will follow at 10:30 a.m.

*Supervisors recommended to the circuit court judge that former planning commission member Sam Coleman be appointed to the board of zoning appeals.

*The board’s finance committee—along with the commissioner of the revenue and County administrator—will look at possible amendments in the local ordinance in light of state Code changes for tax relief for the disabled and elderly.

*Supervisors agreed to distribute funds received the first installment of fire program funds for the fiscal year—$40,955. It was recommended, and supervisors approved, to divide the funds the same as in the past between the four internal fire departments: Rice, Prospect, Darlington Heights and Hampden-Sydney. It will mean $10,238.75 for each department.

*The board held a public hearing and, with no speakers participating, approved an ordinance authorizing Workforce Investment Area Consortium.