County receives high marks in audit

Jan. 27, 2013 @ 06:36 AM

Auditors of Rutherford County's financial data from the previous fiscal year called their work "a positive experience."

The Gould Killian CPA group of Asheville delivered its report to the Rutherford County Commission and cited only minor issues with the county's financial position and outlook.

Dan Mullinix, certified public accountant with the firm, said the only issues stemmed from the waiting period for filling certain vacancies within the county's Department of Social Services (DSS) and agreements between the county and the Rutherford County Airport Authority.

With regards to DSS, Mullinix said that his firm did Medicaid eligibility testing and looked at the 60-day waiting period to hire for certain positions within DSS.

"It takes about six months to a year to train someone for that position," Mullinix said. "We thought it would be more advantageous to reduce that 60-day timeframe."

But, Rutherford County Manager Carl Classen said that he has already taken steps in regards to lessening the waiting period.

"We actually have reduced that to 30 days," Classen said. "I have waived it if there is an emergency position that we need."

The county, currently, does not have a written agreement with the Airport Authority defining what each party is responsible for. Until recently, the Airport operations had been managed by a Forward Base Operator but, since the resignation of the last operator, the Airport Authority board has been handling day-to-day operations.

"While the Commission will determine the policy of the Airport Authority, we will be looking for a management agreement that will cover those responsibilities," Classen said.

Overall, however, the financial position of the county was "in good shape" according to auditors.

Rutherford County ended the last fiscal year with a fund balance of $12.5 million. In 2011, the county had a fund balance of $12.7 million.

In addition, the county reduced its overall debt from $60 million in 2011 to $55 million in 2012 — which is a 7 percent paydown.

Mullinix also said that the county's state and federal funding was relatively unchanged from 2011.

The audit work ends a three-year contract the county had with Gould Killian CPA. Classen asked commissioners to extend the contract by another year and said he would present a proposal during the Commission's February meeting.

"We have been very pleased with their work," Classen said.