Audits show county in fiscal compliance

POLK COUNTY -- Annual audits of Polk County and the county's Oregon State University Extension District found both entities in financial compliance for the 2010-11 fiscal year.



POLK COUNTY -- Annual audits of Polk County and the county's Oregon State University Extension District found both entities in financial compliance for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Brad Bingenhiemer and Kevin Gienger, both of the Salem firm Boldt, Carlisle & Smith, presented audit findings to the Polk County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Wednesday, Dec. 28. The commissioners also act as the Polk County 4-H, Master Gardener, Agriculture, Forestry and Extension District board.

The Extension District earned "clean opinion" in its first audit, meaning auditors found no major compliance or financial internal control issues in management of its funds.

Polk County also received a clean opinion. As the county receives state and federal grants, auditors also tested compliance with state and federal auditing standards. They found no issues, which prompted them to issue a "no comment" statement in their compliance reports.

"`No comment' is a good thing," said Polk County Treasurer Linda Fox during the audit presentation. "It's as good as it gets."

Gienger said the only issue found is that the county spent more than what was budgeted in three funds: the Multi-Disciplinary Intervention fund by $18,490; the Building Improvement fund by $315,621; and the Management Services/Courthouse Building Maintenance fund by $19,885. He said it was a fairly minor concern and not uncommon as budgets change throughout the year.

County Administrator Greg Hansen said the funds had balances to cover the spending over what was originally budgeted.

Gienger noted the county had paid off two loans in 2010-11 and is scheduled to complete payments on two more in the current year, leaving it with only three long-term obligations after 2011-12: a 10-year, $20 million general-obligation bond issued in 2007 for road improvements; a $1 million Oregon Economic and Community Development loan for road improvements on Falls City Road in 2001-02; and a $2.25 million bond issued in 2011, mostly for renovations at the Academy Building.

"After this current year, you will be down to just three debt issues, which is good," Gienger said.

He said although the $2.25 million bond is new, the county didn't increase its indebtedness by much.

"Even though you issued new debt, it didn't actually add much to liabilities," he said. "You paid nearly as much as you added."

The board approved both audits in unanimous votes.



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