Elizabethtown’s finance department gets kudos after audit


Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal



ELIZABETHTOWN — The town of Elizabethtown is in healthy financial shape, according to a recent audit, and everyone seems to be pretty proud of it.

The Elizabethtown Town Council recently heard from the Elizabethtown accounting firm Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co. the results of its regularly scheduled audit.

“Everything is materially compliant,” accountant Bryon Scott informed the board. “There were no findings, which is good news.”

The report, which looks at the years 2014 to 2017, reveals that in the general fund, the cash balance has increased from $1,409,757 in 2016 to $1,598,467 in 2017, or a 13.3 percent increase. The balance, while up down since 2014, reflects a 4.4 percent increase over the same four-year term.

In terms of revenue and transfers in the general fund, 2017 has seen $5,369,196 added to the coffers, a number that reflects a 13.8 percent increase over last year’s $4,718,324. Since 2014, revenue has increased 19.3 percent.

Expenditures from the general fund in 2017 total $5,133,868, up 12.8 percent over 2016’s total of $4,552,271. Since 2014, expenditures have increased 29.1 percent, or an average of 8.9 percent each year.

“You’re to be commended for everything you’re doing to generate revenue and keep a handle on expenses,” Scott offered. “Keep doing that.”

In the water and sewer fund, the cash balance for 2017 is $2,922,409, an decrease of $66,597 from 2016’s $2,989,006. Since 2014, the balance has remained statistically unchanged.

Revenue in the water and sewer fund in 2017 is $1,554,324, up 3.0 percent from 2016 and up 12.1 percent since 2014.

Expenditures from the water fund include $1,579,258 in 2017, a number that decreased 2.2 percent from 2016. Since 2014, expenditures from the water and sewer fund have increased on average 3.4 percent each year.

The tax collection rate for the town, according to the report, is slightly below state average. Currently, 96.9 percent of the taxes have been collected, down from last year’s 97.4 percent. Statewide, municipalities collect 98.5 percent. Scott noted town staff are working with attorneys to collect delinquent taxes, which should increase the collection rate.

At the town council meeting, Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell publicly commended the work done by the town’s finance department.

“I just want to acknowledge Jay Leatherman and his great staff,” Campbell remarked. “It’s not an easy job, and we haven’t always been in this great a shape. We’re especially proud of today’s audit.”

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal

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