Fenwick Receives Clean Fiscal Year Audit Report

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials say a recent audit of Fenwick Island’s financial statements revealed no major findings for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2021.

Last Thursday, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to accept an audit report from PKS & Company detailing the town’s financial position for fiscal year 2021.

Councilman Bill Rymer, the town’s treasurer, noted the audit firm presented Fenwick Island with a clean, unmodified opinion.

“The town received an unmodified opinion which is a new term for what used to be called unqualified, which is the equivalent of a clean audit opinion,” he explained. “There are no issues of noncompliance, no material misstatements and no material weaknesses.”

Rymer noted, however, that PKS had identified a weakness relating to the town’s ability to create annual financial statements. He told council members this week he would work with Finance Manager Dean Gary to fix the problem moving forward.

“That’s a very common issue,” he said, “and the audit partner told us that 90% of the towns that she is responsible for receive the exact same comment.”

In fiscal year 2021, the town reported a net position of $5,469,398, or an increase of $895,690 from the prior year, according to the report. The unrestricted net position totaled $943,626, and the town’s government funds totaled $3,098,622.

The report also highlighted the town’s unassigned general fund balance, which recorded a $210,880 increase in fiscal year 2021.

“This is largely due to the transfer of funds from other governmental funds for Town capital projects,” the report reads.

Taxes continued to represent the largest revenue source, at 47% of all general fund revenues, while the police department accounted for the largest source of general fund expenditures, at 33%.

“Revenues for the general fund operations were above budgeted revenue by $446,324,” the report reads, “The favorable revenue variance is primarily due to an increase in building permit fees and gross rental tax receipts.”

The report continues, “Departmental expenditures were higher than budgeted expenditures by $101,761. This unfavorable variance in expenditures is primarily due to an increase in costs of capital outlay.”

Rymer explained the audit report was first presented in January to the Fenwick Island Audit Committee, which was able to review the financial statements and ask questions.

“Overall, the committee voted to accept the audit and financial statements and the auditor’s communications,” he said, “and voted unanimously to recommend that the town council also accepts the audit and financial statements.”

With no further discussion, the council voted 6-0, with Councilman Richard Benn absent, to accept the audit report for fiscal year 2021.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.