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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Audit report shows county finances are in good shape

  • Redwood County is in good financial shape according to the 2012 audit conducted by the State of Minnesota.
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  • Redwood County is in good financial shape according to the 2012 audit conducted by the State of Minnesota.
    Each year local units of government are required to have an audit conducted for the previous year’s financial action to determine how it sits in terms of everything from capital assets to fund balance.
    The 2012 audit was presented this past Tuesday to the county board by Jean Price, county auditor-treasurer.
    According to the audit report, the county’s total net position, the total overall picture of the county’s fin-ances, for 2012 was $89,025,998, which is a 4.2 percent increase over 2012.
    The total net position for the county continues to be on the rise over the past five years, as it has in-creased from just over $74 million in 2008 to what it is today, and every year since 2010 it has seen an average increase of more than 4 percent.
    The county’s total net  capital assets have also increased in recent years, as the net assets in 2008 were $60,402,584, and by 2012 the capital assets had climbed to just less than $70 million.
    During that time, the county has been involved in building projects, such as the county government center, and have made significant improvements to the facilities as a whole.
    That number should increase in 2014, as the county is currently in the midst of the renovation and expansion of its law enforcement center facility.
    While the assets are on the rise, the total long-term liabilities have been on the de-cline, as the county continues to pay off bond debt from recent projects, such as the government center and the ARMER system.
    Price did say, however, the county’s liabilities are likely to climb next year as the bond payments for the law enforcement center project and the proposed recycling center begin coming due.
    Over the years, the county has seen its governmental fund revenues and expenditures remain relatively steady, with revenues typically higher, especially from 2010-12.
    According to Price in those years when expenditures were higher than revenues, including 2008 and 2009, the reason was due to the fact that bond dollars are listed in the expense line but not in the county’s revenue line.
    Total revenues for the county have in-creased since 2008 from $22,032,871 to $24,138,670 in 2012.
    Redwood County currently has an unrestricted fund balance of $17,040,348, which reflects approximately eight-and-a-half months of its expenditures for the year including all government funds.
    When it comes to the general fund, the county has more than 11 months of reserves.
    “We have plenty in our fund balance,” said Price, adding it ex-ceeds the state audit preference for the am-ount of reserves it should have in place.
    Al Kokesch, county commissioner, pointed out it looks as if the county picked up about $500,000 in excess revenue in 2012, and he said based on what has been presented thus far for 2013 things are coming in pretty good, too.
    Page 2 of 2 - The county is considered a low-risk government unit and have in essence received a positive audit report from the state.
    Following the presentation of the audit by Price, the board ac-cepted the report.
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