The town of West Jefferson is in good health, financially.
The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen were presented with the town’s annual audit at its monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 6.
Conducted by Priscilla Norris, the town was found to have an unqualified, or healthy, audit. Norris said the town’s collection percentage held steady from the prior year and was overall a good audit.
“To me, it shows we are still in good financial position,” said West Jefferson Town Manager Brantley Price. “We have done a lot of work the last three to four years to try and keep our fund balance steady.
The town’s fund balance is $1,753,049, a $163,779 increase from the year before. Part of that increase came from a $100,492 bond settlement between the N.C. Office of Attorney General and Wachovia Bank.
The current available fund balance has 84 percent of the town’s budget. The state requires at least 8 percent of the budget to be from the fund balance.
“We have just been conservative,” Price said. “We tried not to dip in the fund balance to do anything. We have increased fund balance.”
According to the audit, these were the major highlights.
1.) The assets of the town exceeded its liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $12,843,105.
2.) The government’s total net position increased by $319,017.
3.) At the end of the fiscal year, unassigned fund balances for the town’s general fund was $950,366 or 52.6 percent of the total general fund.
4.) The town’s total debt decreased by 17 percent during the 2012-13 fiscal year. The key factor in the decrease was the payment of principal.
5.) West Jefferson reported combined ending fund balances of $1,840,896. Approximately 41.4 percent of the funds, or $762,826 is non-spendable or restricted.
Balances, appropriations and costs
According to the audit, the town of West Jefferson collected $1,026,525 in taxes, or 95.11 percent of its levy collection.
A transfer of $15,000 from the general fund to the water and sewer fund took place on June 30, 2013.
Of the general fund’s $1,753,049, the money has been divided up into six different areas, according to the audit.
A fund for stabilization by state statue holds $226,703, while a public safety fund for police has a balance of $3,705 and another for the fire department has a balance of $499,126. Funds reserved for road improvements are at $33,149 and $40,000 is part of the appropriated fund balance in the FY 2013-14 budget.
“I feel good about the financial stability of the town,” Price said.
According to the audit, total non-major government funds were at $74,613 as of July 1, 2013. In the fund, $57,622 was for parks, while $16,437 was for cemeteries.