County’s debt per capita now exceeds state average

For the first time in over a decade, Pulaski County’s debt per capita now exceeds the state average.

That was one finding of a draft report of an annual audit of the county’s books by Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates of Blacksburg.

The audit is for the county’s last complete fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

According to Emily Viers of the audit firm, the county received a “clean unmodified opinion” as a result of the audit – the desired finding in any government audit.

During her report last week on the audit, Viers noted the county’s debt had topped the $4,000 level.

Supervisors Chairman Andy McCready, quoting the report, said the county’s debt per capita now stands at $4,207.

“This is the first time in 10 years our debt per capita is above the state average of $3,570,” McCready noted.

Viers noted the increase in the debt level is “predominantly” due to debt associated with the consolidated middle school project.

Other findings in the audit report include:

  • Pulaski County’s unassigned fund balance as of June 30 stood at $13.3 million.
  • The unassigned fund balance is 16 percent of the county’s expenditures. That level, Viers said, is higher than the minimum of 10 percent, but not quite at the ideal levels of 20 to 25 percent or even 30 percent in some situations.

Viers urged the supervisors to continue working toward the 20 to 25 percent goal.

At the board’s request, Viers will report back in January with information regarding how Pulaski County stacks up in comparison to other localities in which Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates performs audits.

Also during last week’s meeting, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet gave the supervisors an advance preview of the county’s new website.

The site follows along with the county’s current “Pulaski County Is…” marketing effort.

According to Sweet, the new site includes just about everything someone could want to know about Pulaski County.

The site, which Sweet said had been a “team effort,” goes online officially Jan. 1.

The board set Jan. 3 as the date for its annual organizational meeting. The meeting is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the New River Valley Business Center in Fairlawn.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot

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