Berlin Officials Review Audit

Berlin Officials Review Audit
Representatives from PKS & Co. present the town's annual audit. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN– The town is in a solid financial position according to its latest audit.

The Berlin Town Council last week reviewed the FY 2023 audit with representatives of PKS & Co.

“The town is in a healthy financial position and the books and records are in good order,” said PKS & Co.’s Alyssa Revell.

Leslie Michalik of PKS & Co. told officials on Monday that the PKS team spent a significant amount of time working with town staff to review Berlin’s finances. She said they didn’t notice any internal weaknesses.

“Our opinion is a clean, unmodified opinion which is the highest level of assurance we can give,” she said.

Revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30 were $8.7 million, according to Michalik. That represented an increase in revenue of just over $1 million.

“The largest source of revenue is property taxes which is $4.5 million or 51% of your general revenues,” she said.

The town’s general fund expenditures totaled $6.6 million.

“The largest area of expenditures if public safety, which makes up 39% of your total general fund expenditures,” Michalik said.

Revell outlined the status of the town’s four enterprise funds—water, sewer, electric and stormwater. They’re funded with user fees.

“They’re all intended to run like a for-profit business,” she said.

In the electric fund, operating income increased to about $812,000. The water fund ended the fiscal year with a net operating loss of almost $49,000, but Revell pointed out that was an improvement over the previous year.

“You did go in the right direction there,” she said.

The sewer fund ended the year with operating income of almost $748,000 and the stormwater fund ended the year with operating income of $10,448.

Mayor Zack Tyndall pointed out that was likely the best year the stormwater fund had had.

“That would be the first year stormwater operated on its own,” said Natalie Saleh, the town’s finance director.

Council members pointed out the audit again showed a surplus. Councilman Steve Green said the unassigned fund balance had been about $21,000 in 2018 and was now $3.2 million.

“I think that is something we should all be very proud of,” he said.

The Government Finance Officers Association recommends jurisdictions maintain an unassigned fund balance of at least two months of operating expenditures.

“We’re at five months,” Green said.

Officials thanked staff for their efforts.

“It’s really a testament to our financial director and her staff,” Councilman Jay Knerr said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.