The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 30, 2013

Town faces $59K deficit

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 — Eddie Carrick spoke before the Oakboro Town Board last Tuesday, reporting on the annual town audit.

Carrick reminded everyone up front that the town audit was a public document, meaning any citizen can request a copy of it.

Carrick went through the document, hitting on the highlights.

“The general fund, we’re showing a little bit of a deficit this past year,” began Carrick. He qualified it saying Oakboro was in a $59,000 deficit.

“Revenues were actually up $1.2 million vs. $1,150,000 from the year before it ...”

“Your general governmental expenses, which is basically your cost of running the town, they were down $44,000 this past year.

“The reason I like to point that out, first of all, is that you all have a little control over ... You are to be commended for that ...

“Expenses across the board are kind of up a little bit. Primarily we’re seeing ... operating expenses going up.

“Water’s still showing a slight deficit at the end of the year. The good news is you had some increased revenue there. Unfort-unately you also had some increased cost in maintenance there, too. But it was pretty comparable across the board.

“Sewer, we’re showing a profit at the bottom line,  but you all also had a $500,000 grant come in this past year ...

“You add up expenditure and maintenance you got $100,000 from this and the other expenses.

“Water and sewer is not an inexpensive proposition.”

He went on to explain some of the problems with state funding for this year.

“It’s not going to get any better, beacuse Raleigh is broke and this mandate has come down and will be left to the small towns ... It’s going to come down to the small towns.”

Oakboro had to have a compliance audit performed this go around, but Carrick didn’t find any problems.

“Your collection rate for at home taxes are at 93 percent and that’s right at the state average,” he said.

“Available fund out in the general fund at the end of this year is at 63 percent, which basically meant that if you did not collect another dime, you could operate for aproximately seven months with the same amount of services you’re providing right now.”

His overall advice is the same that he’s given for the past three years: “Stay conservative.”