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City gets good audit report; assets well ahead of liabilities

Jan 14, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

All financial operations for the City of Riverton received a passing grade in the annual audit summary from auditing firm Mader Tschacher Peterson & Co.

Dennis Tschacher reported to the council via telephone to communicate that the year-end audit was being presented with an "unmodified opinion," meaning no problems were detected in the financial statements submitted by the city.

"Basically, it's the best you can have," Tschacher said to the council and mayor. "There are no material misstatements."

Internal controls already in place also are looked over by the auditor, as well as the city's compliance with state and local law requirements. That report also was given an unmodified opinion with no material weaknesses.

"It's a very positive reflection not only on the council but your staff as well," he said.

Tschacher praised the director of administrative services for Riverton, Courtney Bohlender, and her team for helping the audit "run smoothly" on their end.

Assets and liabilities

The audit highlighted the city's assets which exceeded its liabilities by about $61 million. Of this amount, the report said, about $7 million can be used to "meet the government's ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors."

The city also carries an outstanding debt of roughly $3.4 million that includes a loan for the water treatment plant, to the Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board for the AT&T Mobile Home Park, and for the Fike Subdivision and North Riverton Water Improvement projects. Of that amount, about $250,000 was recorded as a liability measure for future landfill monitoring costs.

Taxes

The city's chief operating fund, or the general fund, showed an increase in the fund balance, one reason being the increase in sales tax dollars which includes the new optional 1 percent sales tax.

The report also stated that the increase in use tax and gas/special fuel tax can positively impact the general fund because 34.5 percent of that fund is made up of sales and use taxes. The Wind River Job Corps also could bring $10-$15 million annually to the community

The council had no questions regarding the audit but expressed their content with the report.

"As a mayor, that kind of statement regarding our audit report is a breath of fresh air," Mayor Ron Warpness said. "It's good to hear those words, (and) we're just delighted that it worked out well."

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