County, UT financials declared in the black

9 years ago

  CARIBOU, Maine — The County Commissioners listened to a review of the general fund and unorganized territory audits by Gisele MacDonald, a Certified Public Accountant from Felch and Company during their Dec. 2 meeting.

MacDonald began by reviewing the general fund, and directing the Commissioners to the budgetary comparison near the end of her report.

“The total budgeted revenues were approximately four and a half million,” said MacDonald. “You took in just under that at $4,464,000, the bulk of the difference being in the registry of deeds and probate accounts.”

MacDonald explained that the municipal tax revenue was a bit more than budgeted, and that the total revenues were over-budgeted by approximately $93,000, but that they made up the difference, and then some, in their expenditures. Total budgeted expenditures were $4.7 million, and they spent just $4.5 million for a favorable variance of $171,000.

Overall, Aroostook County had a favorable budget variance of around $78,000 between revenues and expenses. The fund balance decreased by $68,000. Expenditures were in excess of revenues, bringing the fund balance from $1,873,000 down to $1,804,000.

“You had total departmental expenses of $5,327,000,” MacDonald said after showing the Commissioners “Section B” of the audit report, “which were partially offset by revenues in the form of charges for services. You had some cooperating grants that came in for net costs of $3,400,000, and I’m rounding off for discussion’s sake. You had general revenues totaling $3,084,000, most of which came from your tax assessment to the municipalities. Your change in net position was a reduction for $316,000 and for an overall net position at the end of the year of $2,273,000.”

“When I say net position, the differs from your fund balance and your equity, because this statement recognizes assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses more like a business does. We’ve accrued all of the revenues. We’ve recognized the fixed assets as assets instead of expenditures. This is more similar to the way a business would report equity,” MacDonald added.

Total assets are $3,643,000, of which $1,006,000 is in cash and $1,005,000 is in net capital assets. This was offset by liabilities of $1,370,000 for a total net position of $2,273,000.

MacDonald stated that the Aroostook County general fund audit was a “clean opinion on the financial statements’ and that they were “fairly stated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.”

The focus shifted to the audit of unorganized territories within Aroostook County, which MacDonald also explained to the Commissioners.

“You had budgeted revenues of $2,021,000, but you collected $2,168,000 for an increase of $147,000.”

“Is this a clean opinion as well?” asked County Administrator Douglas Beaulieu.

“Yes, it is. That is very important. The reason for the increased collection in revenues is some federal grants that were received and weren’t budgeted. Expenditures were also budgeted at $2,021,000 and $1,943,000 was spent.”

Commissioners collected more than was spent in the amount of $224,000, which brings the fund balance for unorganized territories up to $738,000.