Audit, report issued

Patrick County received clean and/or unmodified opinions for the audit of the fiscal year that ended June 30, but the firm did make several recommendations.

The General Fund Summary showed the county operated at a $351,093 revenue deficiency, with revenues of $22,609,231 and expenses of $22,960,324.

During his audit presentation, Scott Wickham, with the Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates firm in Blacksburg, said the report included recommendations aimed at improving the internal control structure or operating efficiencies.

The issues prompting the recommendations are “not a big deal,” he said Monday when presenting information about the county’s audit to the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.

Wickham alluded to the recommendations at the meeting, but did not go into details.

A copy of the Audit Presentation obtained by The Enterprise listed those recommendations.

The report stated in part that several PSA board members did not submit the required Conflict of Interest Statements. Several forms also were submitted after the deadline. The firm recommended the forms “be completed entirely and submitted prior to the deadline as required.”

Noting the county paid late fees and interest charges for county credit card purchases, the firm recommended paying the credit card statement on time to avoid unnecessary charges.

The firm also found certain (VIEW) Social Services purchases were not supported by a signed, up to date activity and service plan, and recommended that all transactions are properly supported by an invoice and an approved activity and service plan for the corresponding purchase.

The presentation report also included comparative information for the past decade, with an annualized growth rate of about 5 percent, according to Wickham and the report.

Revenues increased by only about 3 percent, and there “were increases across the board in expenses,” he said.

“You’re going the wrong way” in that respect, he said, noting tax assessments have been flat across the board since 2011.

When presenting the School Fund Summary, Wickham said expenses are flat, up one percent per year per the 10-year comparison cycle.

“It was amazing to see them (school officials) holding the cost to one-percent per year,” Wickham said. The county’s fund balance decreased by $544,000, from 16.7 percent in 2016 to the current 15 percent, according to Wickham and the report.

Overall, Wickham said the audit “was a great audit.”

He noted he had no problems getting records from county staff. Wickham said staff members do “a good job managing the records.”

In other matters:

*A majority of the supervisors voted to extend the county administrator’s contract to a year. Previously, the contract automatically renewed after six months, according to Roger Hayden of the Dan River District. Hayden and board chairman Crystal Harris, of the Smith River District, voted against the motion made by Lock Boyce, vice chairman and of the Mayo River District. Rickie Fulcher, of the Peters Creek District and Karl Weiss, of the Blue Ridge District, supported the motion.

Supervisors will hold their first meeting of 2018 on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.

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