FLINT TWP. — After about two weeks and 300 hours of reviewing the township’s 2015 financial records, the township received an “unmodified report” meaning that its numbers were accurate, according to an annual audit presentation last week by Pam Hill and Chrystal Simpson, of the Plante Moran Governmental Professional Standards Team.
Highlights from the 71-page report showed that “the township has been doing more with less.”
A General Fund Revenue review for the past four years, showed a steady decline of property taxes, the largest source of revenue, which dropped from about $10.6 million in 2012 to $10,1 million in 2015. The low point was $9.9 million in 2013. General Fund expenditures during that time period also declined from about $10, 6 million in 2012 to $9.6 million in 2015.
Expenses exceeded revenue in 2013 and 2014 but revenues were higher in 2015. The Fund Balance ranged from about $4.2 million in 2013 to about $4.2 million in 2015 with a low point of $3.7 million in 2014. The unassigned fund balance was about $2 million in 2013, $3.4 million in 2014 and $3.7 million in 2015 and an estimated balance of $3.8 million for 2016.
Taxable value is increasing but even assuming a two percent increase in inflation, it will take until 2035 for the township’s taxable value to return to the level it was at in 2008, Simpson said.
Hill attributed the slow rebound to limits imposed by Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment.
The audit presentation also covered the sewer and water fund and a look at required financial reporting for pensions. The township has begun setting aside funds to cover retiree costs which are not yet fully funded. The next big thing is to determine a long-range budgeting strategy to meet these legacy costs promised to retirees and employees, Hill said.
The township invested $13 million in capital assets and related debts last year. Major capital asset events in 2015 included numerous street paving projects totaling $420,000; equipment purchases of $62,000; and public safety vehicle purchases of $323,000. Also, the township disposed of approximately $429,000 of vehicles used in the Police and Fire Departments, office supplies, and other machinery and equipment, according to the audit report.
A complete copy of the 2015 audit is posted on the township website at www.flinttownship.org/ Portals/68/2016%20pdfs/2015%20 Audit%20Report.pdf
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller, joined by Hill and Simpson, credited the successful audit to the record-keeping efficiency of township controller Beth Takacs.
Hill said Plante Moran has governmental clients statewide but not many have as few adjustments as Flint Township. Takacs and staff is one of their favorite audits because of their readily accessible and up-to-date financial records.
That also means that township officials and residents can get good, accurate information at any time and not just at the end-of-year accounting, Hill said.
“Not every community can say that,” she said.