Cottonport audit shows improvements

Cottonport’s overall financial health has improved by $595,309 since last year, the town’s auditor reported at the Oct. 17 council meeting.
Joan Ducote, of Ducote and Company accounting firm, told the council the town’s “net financial position” is $3,467,214 for the July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 budget year. It was $3,338,078 for the budget year that ended June 30, 2015. The “net financial position” reflects the difference between the town’s assets -- including property and cash -- and its liabilities, such as debts.
A major reason for the improvement is the completion of a sewer lift station project that is saving money by reducing repair costs in the sewer system. The project was funded by a $709,531 state grant.
Mayor Scotty Scott credited town employees and council members for their efforts to keep the budget in line.
“We feel good about the increase in revenue and the decrease of expenditures in the overall budget when several other municipalities are having to make cuts or reductions to their budgets,” Scott said. “Getting the sewer grant and making the repairs have helped the town cut down on major repairs.”
Ducote noted government program expenses were $195,087 lower while revenues increased by $67,395.
The water and sewer fund had an operating income of $535,824 for the year. The department was able to transfer $394,753 to other accounts in the town’s budget. Operating revenues were up by $33,394 and operating transfers out were up $69,152.
Ducote said Cottonport has a long-term debt of $1,018,079, which includes $25,697 for a backhoe, $73,382 for two police cars, $584,000 in street improvement bonds and $335,000 in revenue bonds to construct a water well.
The major revenue sources include $269,738 in taxes, $102,254 in franchise fees and $72,540 in licenses and permits. Cottonport had a General Fund increase of $38,983 and an increase of $43,435 in the Volunteer Fire Department Fund. There was a $9,409 decrease in the Sales Tax Fund.

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