Audit: County finances ‘look good’ | CraigDailyPress.com
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Audit: County finances ‘look good’

Dan Olsen

Commissioners also:

• Signed lease agreement extension for Craig/Moffat County Airport hangars

• Signed Codessa release of commitment guarantee

• Signed Codessa release of improvement agreement

• Signed Fastenal credit application

• Signed ATM machine contract for courthouse machine

• Approved office policy on public computer and Internet use

• Discussed moto-cross track contract

• Signed construction agreement on cold storage building for Road and Bridge Deptartment

• Signed water characterization data form on old county shop

• Signed engineering proposal on sand/salt building

• Opened bids for flooring at Public Safety Center

• Signed letter of support to Colorado Preservation Inc. regarding the nomination of the Craig Railroad Depot to the Most Endangered Places List

Commissioners also:

• Signed lease agreement extension for Craig/Moffat County Airport hangars

• Signed Codessa release of commitment guarantee

• Signed Codessa release of improvement agreement

• Signed Fastenal credit application

• Signed ATM machine contract for courthouse machine

• Approved office policy on public computer and Internet use

• Discussed moto-cross track contract

• Signed construction agreement on cold storage building for Road and Bridge Deptartment

• Signed water characterization data form on old county shop

• Signed engineering proposal on sand/salt building

• Opened bids for flooring at Public Safety Center

• Signed letter of support to Colorado Preservation Inc. regarding the nomination of the Craig Railroad Depot to the Most Endangered Places List

— A recent audit by McMann and Associates, a firm hired to look into Moffat County finances for 2006, showed improved finances for the county.

“You are better off financially than you were at the start of the year,” Paul Backes with McMann told the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting. “The fund balances and cash balances look good.”

The finance results were not available until July because county finances include numbers from The Memorial Hospital and the housing authority, which recently became available.

An increase of $1.9 million in the county’s change-in-funds balance sounds like an increase in surplus money, but commissioners warn that $800,000 is earmarked as matching funds for grants already applied for.

Most of the county’s departments hold nearly 37 percent of their annual budget in reserves as they head toward the county goal of 40 percent.

The goal for the general fund reserve, currently at about 47 percent, was set at 50 percent due in part to the fact that nearly half of the county’s property taxes are being paid by three large companies. Tri-State Generation and Transmission accounts for 23 percent of the county property tax, with Colowyo and the energy company Wex-Pro each holding just more than 12 percent.

“Those funds are important for a rainy day,” Commissioner Tom Gray said about the reserves. “The additional 10 percent in the general fund is also an emergency reserve that can be used for fire suppression.”

The county also frequently operates at a deficit, with three months of operations underway before the first property taxes arrive each year. That makes reserve funds important in paying monthly bills.

Backes made a number of recommendations to the commissioners to help improve control of county funds, and he is scheduled to meet with department heads to discuss handling cash transactions at the county.

Commissioners attribute much of the positive audit to having good people in place taking care of the county finances.

“I am more comfortable than I was 2 years ago,” Commissioner Saed Tayyara said. “Credit goes to the people around us.”

Gray agreed.

“We worked hard to empower the people (handling county finances), and they responded,” he said. “We have the right people in the positions.”

In other action, the commissioners agreed that the failing dock at Loudy-Simpson Park needs to be dealt with before winter, so they authorized the purchase of a floating dock at a cost of $14,500. The dock will alleviate erosion problems involved with a pier dock and will improve handicapped accessibility.

The county Road and Bridge Department will be employed to improve the shoreline and possibly help the Parks and Recreation Department with the dock installation.


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