NCWSA gets ‘best opinion’ audit

By Andrew Wigger -

NEWBERRY — The Newberry County Water and Sewer Authority has received an unmodified opinion for its year end financial audit from Greene, Finney and Horton CPAs.

Larry Finney with Greene, Finney and Horton LLP, said it was the best opinion NCWSA can receive.

“You guys have continued to make really good progress. We go back several years when we were talking about how we were just really having to keep a tight rein on everything until we got some of the debt paid off and kind of get the revenue where we wanted it,” Finney said. “And y’all have done it. You guys (the board) have done a great job of leading, and Brent (Richardson, manager) and Daniel (Quattlebaum, assistant manager) have really done a great job of carrying this plan out.”

The total net position of the water and sewer fund has increased from $127,000 to $21.7 million. Net investment in capital assets is $21.1 million and restricted net position for debt services and capital improvements increased from $364,000 to $1.1 million.

The unrestricted net position increased $230,000 and is a $503,000 deficit. Excluding net pension liability of $1.6 million, unrestricted net position is $1.2 million or 27 percent of 2016 operating expenses and 34 percent of cash expenses.

Greene, Finney and Horton recommends three months (25 percent) of operating expenses at a minimum.

Some reasons to maintain an adequate net position include cash flow throughout the year, significant emergencies and unanticipated expenditures, flexibility for discretionary funding needs, potential for better interest rates on debt issues and move toward pay-as-you-go for infrastructure repair and replacement.

“And it is extremely important given the ongoing uncertain economic times,” Finney said.

When it comes to operating revenues, NCWSA had $4.4 million for 2016, $3.3 million from water and $1.1 million from sewer. This is a 13 percent increase from 2015.

For the year operating expenses was $4.2 million, $2.1 million in water expenses, $700,000 in water plant expense and $1.4 million in sewer expense. This is a 17 percent increase from 2015.

Other items of note include total long term obligations is $3.12 million, a decrease of $253,000 from 2015. Total debt service for 2017 is $401,000, which reflects the 2003 refunding loan being paid off, most USDA loans refinanced with 2016 refunding revenue bond and cash savings from refinancing debt is approximately $1.4 million.

NCWSA also met the net revenue bond covenant at 263.3 percent while 120 percent is required.

“The financial condition continues to improve, good overall results from the past three years, keep up the good work,” Finney said.

By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

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