County auditor reports findings to commissioners

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016


As of June 30, 2015, Tyrrell County’s assets were $22,881,853, minus liabilities of $10,289,834, leaving a “net position” of $12,223,682, Jeffery D. Best, certified public accountant with the independent audit firm of Carr, Riggs & Ingram in Belhaven, reported to the county commissioners on Nov. 1.

Total revenues for the fiscal year that ended 15 months ago were $8,218,087, and expenditures were $8,216,336, increasing assets by $1,751.

The county’s undesignated General Fund balance was $1,737,953.

The 151-page financial report indicated that Tyrrell County had a long-term debt of $9.9 million on June 30, 2015. Long-term obligations for governmental activities stood at $4,578,449, business-type activities carried a debt load of $5,084,298, and the ABC Board’s long-term debt was $247,403.

Governmental activities debts included:

— $79,756 owed on a 2010 installment purchase contract for computer software and related support services for the Tax Department.

— $663,332 owed on a 2002 deed of trust to expand the court facilities into the former Tyrrell Hardware Co. building.

–$1,425,045 owed on a deed of trust for the Columbia Wildcats Gymnasium built in 2007.

–$119,464 owed for compensated absences (accumulated employee annual and sick leave).

–$2,290,852 for postemployment healthcare benefits for general government employees. (This debt is explained more fully below.)

Business-type activities (water and sewer systems) debts included:

–$2,755,000 Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2013A, issued for system improvements.

–$718,000 Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2013B, issued for system improvements.

–$1,375,000 Sewer Bond anticipation notes, issued for final construction phase of the wastewater collection system in Scuppernong Township.

–$24,920 owed for compensated absences.

–$211,378 debt for postemployment benefits for Utilities Department employees.

The ABC Board had debts as follows:

–$189,446 construction note on new ABC Store.

–$57,957 owed for postemployment benefits for ABC Store employees.

The county provides postemployment healthcare benefits to its retirees and pays the full cost of coverage paid to them. (Retirees over age 65 are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Plan). Since no funds are set aside to pay benefits and administration costs, they are paid from the General Fund as they come due. In the 2015 fiscal year, the county’s total contributions were $94,575.

The county’s future postemployment healthcare benefits debt nearly doubled in three years, from $1.3 million in 2012 to $2.5 million in 2015. The auditors based the projected liability on assumptions about retirement age of active employees, marital status after retirement, mortality, workforce turnover, healthcare cost trend rate, health insurance premiums, inflation, and county payroll growth rate.