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County receives update on annual audit

Troup County’s government is expected to receive a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 30th year in a row, according to a review of the 2018 fiscal year presented to the Troup County Board of Commissioners last week.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners received the findings of an audit of FY 2018, and according to Susan Black of the independent auditing firm J.K. Boatwright & Co., there were no discrepancies in the budget. The 2018 fiscal year began in July 2017 and ended in June 2018.

“We saw that we were fiscally sound, and we appreciate all the efforts of everyone to make sure that happened,” County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews said.

County Manager Eric Mosley attributed some of the cost savings during the 2018 fiscal year to the county’s use of WeCare as a medical provider for county employees, and Black noted increases to county income in areas like seized drug funds and state court fines.

“The fund balance for the general fund increased $2 million,” Black said. “For the Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund, it went up $375,000. For SPLOST — and you’ve obviously got a new SPLOST — that has $10 million sitting in there. Your unassigned general fund balance of about $15 million is a very good position because that represents 39 percent of your expenditures.”

County governments are generally encouraged to keep some funding in reserve in case of unforeseen circumstances, like gaps in federal funding.

The report showed that Troup County earned more money than it spent, with a net increase of about $5.2 million in revenue over expenditures during the fiscal year. The report also showed the expenditures of each individual department. 

However, Black cautioned anyone reviewing the report against judging the commission’s commitment to any program by increases or decreases shown in the budget.

“I don’t want anybody to ever come in and just take for a fact looking at something that, ‘Why are they spending less in this area?’” Black said. “You don’t ever know what is behind the scenes. … You have to understand what is included in those line items are expenditures for capital improvements, and this is government wide, but it is capital improvement that is not an asset of the county.”

Black noted some expenditures — like the county’s contributions to Sweetland Amphitheatre and Hogansville Public Library, which count as expenditures but are not tallied as assets of the county — can impact the total amounts expended by certain departments in a year. 

The report also listed a total of $1,119,800 in tax abatements that were granted to the LaGrange Development Authority ($615,000), the West Point Development Authority ($504,000) and the Hogansville Development Authority ($800) for projects that were expected to add jobs to the community.

The full report can be viewed online at Troupcountyga.org/Content/Documents/finance/cafr-2018.pdf.