Osceola County receives positive audit report

Larry Emig and the Osceola County Board of Commissioners received the 2017 county audit report at the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday morning. The audit revealed good financial health overall with slight increases in most of the county’s revenue accounts. (Herald review photo/Taylor Fussman)

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Despite a slight decrease in the general fund balance, Osceola County’s financial health remains strong.

Ken Talsma, a partner with the accounting firm Anderson, Tackman & Company, presented the 2017 county audit with an unmodified opinion to commissioners at the Osceola County Board of Commissioners Committee of the Whole Meeting Tuesday morning. He explained the “unmodified opinion” is the highest level of assurance they can give, indicating the audit revealed no problems or major areas of concern.

Although one area highlighted in the audit report was the decrease in the general fund balance in the amount of $148,909, Talsma said the audit revealed good financial health for the county overall, noting many of the county’s revenue accounts are doing slightly better compared to past years and expenditures stayed fairly level. He added the remaining funds in the account still leaves about 10 to 15 percent of the next year’s budget expenditures.

“You want to make sure you have enough intact to have a cushion in case you ever need it, but it’s nice to kind of save it up for projects you want to do, then you spend it down and you can build it back up again,” Talsma said. “It cycles, so I would say don’t get too alarmed by it going up and down.”

Although the audit was positive overall, one area of discrepancy currently being addressed is a difference in the amount reported in the inmate trust account, a bank account which holds inmates’ monies they can use to buy goods from the commissary, and the amount actually contained in the account.

According to Talsma, the most likely cause of this difference is either money was left in the account by people who did not come back to claim it or it may be profit from the commissary.

“At this point we just need to make sure an accounting of that is done, and if it’s extra it probably should be transferred to the commissary instead of just sitting in that account,” he said.

County Treasurer Lori Leudeman said the county is in the process of reconciling the difference in the inmate trust account and determining where the discrepancy stemmed from.

In other action from Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners:

• Approved claims to the county in the amount of $47,726.87;

• Authorized the board chair to sign the Community Corrections Alcohol Monitoring Systems Agreement for three years; and

• Approved the County Treasurer’s Journal Register report for May 2018.

The Osceola County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting to address employee health benefits and insurance at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26.

The next regular Osceola County Board of Commissioners Committee of the Whole meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3.

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