Patrick County was deemed to be in good financial shape according to an audit report for the year ending June 2022.
Scott Wickham, of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associations, PLLC, told the Patrick County Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 12 meeting that the county received an unmodified, good opinion.
There is “about $12.9 million for the unassigned fund balance. That’s a very good improvement for the county,” he said.
Wickham said he believes the ending unassigned fund balance as a percentage of operating expenditures is a measurement of the county’s financial stability.
In 2019, the county had a balance of 9.7 percent. It rose to 22.8 percent in 2022.
Wickham said the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), a national association of finance officers, recommends a minimum of two months, or 16.7 percent, of unassigned fund balance.
“In 2019, you were well below that, and it looks great to see that you’ve gone past that now to a pretty strong position,” he said.
The income statement for the county also improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, with the general funds increasing from $10,981,182 to $15,246,791.
The report stated at the close of the current fiscal year, the county reported combined ending fund balances of $15, 473,843, which is $4,274,370 more than the prior fiscal year total fund balances.
“Of the current fiscal year fund balances, $12, 945,484 is considered unassigned, $9,655 is considered non-spendable prepaid items, $1,370,714 is considered restricted, and $1,147,990 is considered assigned to specific funds,” the report stated.
Compared to the prior fiscal year, unassigned balances increased by $3,049,290, with non-spendable prepaid items decreasing by $25,975. Restricted balances increased $968,929 and assigned fund balances increased by $282,126.
“The increase in unassigned fund balances was due to increases in collections of sales and use, food and beverage, real estate, and personal property taxes, and ambulance services,” the report stated.
The county’s governmental fund revenues exceeded expenses by $4,122,369.
“This is the second year in a row Patrick County has seen excess revenue over $4 million, growing reserves thereby helping to mitigate current and future risks, such as revenue shortfalls and unanticipated expenditures,” the report stated.
Wickham said the county’s total expenditures increased by about 3.2 percent per year.
“That’s a pretty good job at controlling your expenditures. I suspect that will be a little more challenging to do that in the future with inflation trending where it is,” he said.
In other matters, the board:
*Heard from Norma Bozenmayer about the county’s Economic Development Director Sean Adkins’s presentation regarding the potential childcare center.
While she commends his work on the project, closing a portion of Rye Cove Street to through traffic is a bad idea.
“This street gets used by a lot of travelers every day in and out of upper Stuart. I personally use this street when traveling from upper Main Street to lower Stuart instead of making a left at the end of Main Street onto Wood Brothers Drive,” she said.
“If the intention is to make a playground in the former street, that, to me, is not a very good idea either because that section of the street is very steep, not suitable for playground equipment or young walkers and runners,” she said.
*Approved the meeting minutes.
*Approved the bills, claims, and appropriations as amended.
*Was presented a plaque from the Virginia Association of Counties (VACO) for the Blue Ridge Fire and EMS Academy.
*Approved a resolution recognizing ANCHOR’s 50th anniversary.
*Discussed a request for proposals (RFP) for the county’s hauling and disposing of waste.
*Scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 9 to discuss an ordinance on revenue sharing for solar energy systems and energy storage systems.
*Approved the school board’s fiscal year 2023 amendment request.
Doug Perry, of the Smith River District, did not attend the meeting.