Town audit ‘most favorable’ with $65 million net assets

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen got an early Christmas present when it received good news on its audit/financial report for fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30.

“We are pleased we can present [the Town with] an unmodified opinion, which is the most favorable opinion we can issue to a set of financial statements,” auditor T. Mark Lund, certified public accountant and partner of Ingram, Overholt & Bean, independent CPA firm in Alcoa, told the Board during its meeting Thursday, Dec. 14 — the last meeting of 2017.

While going over the report, Lund hit on some of the financial report’s highlights for FY 2017:

• Town assets exceeded its liabilities by $65 million. The assets are a $5 million increase from the previous fiscal year. Of that $65 million, Lund said $28.4 million might be used to meet the government’s ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors. By contrast, he said liabilities were decreased by $720,000 from the previous year.

• Town had a combined ending fund balance of $29.1 million. “About 47 percent of this total amount — $13.6 million — is unassigned fund balance available for spending at the government’s discretion,” he said.

• “Other than compensated absences in the amount of $175,830, the Town has no outstanding long-term debt,” Lund said.

Last year, the Town paid off $250,000 — the last installment of one note.

Another last installment payment went to Knox County Schools from liquor tax revenues.

The financial report shows the Town has $13,233,925 in revenues for FY 2017, compared to $12,731,798 in FY 2016.

During FY 2017, the Town had $7,244,543 in expenses, compared to expenses in FY 2016 of $7,445,581, the report stated.

“It’s hard to pick on a report like that,” Alderman Bob Markli said with a smile, generating laughter from fellow Board members.

“It is a good report,” Lund acknowledged. “I’d like to express my appreciation to [Town administrator] David [Smoak], Allison [Myers, Town recorder/treasurer] and the Town’s staff … Everyone was very cooperative. They dropped everything to make sure we had what we needed.”

Meanwhile, Government Finance Officers Association awarded Myers, who was responsible for the Town’s financial reporting, a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

“That’s quite an accomplishment,” Lund said. “She’s been able to achieve that distinction for many years now.”

“Allison does a fantastic job throughout the year, making sure all our records and all our department heads do a great job ensuring we are buying things the proper way and going through the proper processes and accounting for everything,” Smoak said.

Myers has been with the Town since 2004.

“[The staff] couldn’t have done it without Mark [Lund] and Bob [Bean, Lund’s partner and CPA],” Myers said.

In other business, BOMA ....

• along with other capital outlay projects action, voted 4-1 to approve a $54,575 contract with Benchmark Associates to complete a topographical survey of McFee Park.

While Mayor Ralph McGill, Markli, Vice Mayor Ron Pinchok and Aldermen Ron Williams voted to approve the contract during the Board’s meeting Thursday, Dec. 14, Alderman Louise Povlin voted against it.

Povlin said she is not against the McFee Park project, but added, “I am concerned about what we are doing in our Town Center and, going forward, what kind of investment we are going to make in that.

“As soon as we start [Phase III] it looks to me like we are going to have to finish this phase, and that is my struggle with this,” she also added. “I don’t have the information about what we will do with our Town Center, what kind of investment we plan on making to make that happen.”

“I’m not really thrilled about taking this step [with McFee Park] until I have that information.”

Before the BOMA meeting, Farragut Beer Board approved an on-premise beer permit for Sakura Sushi & Hibachi, 11145 Kingston Pike, Farragut.