DOBSON — Members of the Dobson Board of Commissioners heard some welcome news Thursday night when accountant Thomas Melton presented the required annual audit report to the town.
Melton, of Mount Airy firm Jack Wilson CPA, told the board that the town had met all conditions required by the state, and the audit has been approved ahead of schedule.
“This is the best year I’ve seen in a while,” he said. “Dobson has shown great improvement over the past three years.”
Dobson has a total fund balance, which includes the town’s general and enterprise funds, of just over $2 million.
The accountant said the town’s general fund has a surplus of $138,894, compared to $62,000 in the fund during the same period last year.
He credited the surplus to an increase in revenues and belt-tightening of the town’s departments.
Melton said general fund revenues for the year are up over $25,600 this year and tax revenues are up $15,418.
According to the accountant, expenditures are down for the year more than $50,000, a decrease he said could be credited to reduced requests for money by the town’s various departments.
“This year, tax collection rates for both real estate and motor vehicles is running at 98 percent, which is in line with the county,” Melton said. “Which makes sense since the county does our collection.”
The town’s water and sewer fund surplus has decreased by about $27,000 due largely to capital projects, but revenues are up $35,000 and expenditures are running at around $62,000.
“This is the best year I’ve seen for water and sewer,” Melton said.
While the accountant noted that there was an over-expenditure of around $39,000 in water and sewer capital outlay, Town Manager Josh Smith noted that the town had to replace a $38,000 piece of equipment that broke the day after the budget was approved.
“That threw things out of balance a little bit,” he said. “But overall we’re fortunate to be in good shape.”
“If you were under-funded, we’d definitely let you know,” he said.
In other business, the board honored Police Officer Brian Thomas with the Employee of the Quarter award, a new program implemented this year to recognize exemplary employees in the town.
Financial Officer Laura Hill said the town is in “pretty good” shape, noting that the water and sewer fund is still bringing in more money than is flowing out.
Smith noted that the town has weathered about five months of unexpected expenses to its enterprise fund.
“It’s been a rough time,” he said. “We’re okay for now, but we can’t afford many more surprises.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.