Audit gives Summit County high marks
An audit of Summit County’s finances for 2014 didn’t reveal any significant errors or shortcomings in the county’s budget.
Matt Leavitt, Summit County accountant, said "we ended up just about where we expected to be at the end of the year."
"There weren’t any big surprises and pretty much everything turned out as we had planned," Leavitt said.
Utah state law requires local governments of a certain size to hire an independent company to conduct an annual audit. Ulrich & Associates, a firm operating out of Ogden, performed the audit this year. Summit County Councilors were recently given the report.
The audit report says "the overall financial health of the County has improved significantly and continues to move in a positive direction."
- Some of the highlights from the report are:
- The county spent $392,211 less than what was budgeted
- The Transit District showed an operating loss of $2.1 million, but sales taxes from the Transit District and federal grant money from Park City are used to cover the costs
- The unrestricted portion of the fund balance in the General Fund is within state fund balance limits at approximately $4 million
- Non-major funds, such as Senior Citizens, Wildland Fire and Open Spaces, are showing positive fund balances, with the exception of the Capital Projects Agent fund which shows an approximately $800,000 deficit
"Back when the economy went south, we had to make some adjustments and had to recover from it," Leavitt said. "Since then, we’ve been a little reluctant to make significant changes just in the off chance that the economy would go south again.
"But I think 2014 was a year where we felt comfortable making some of those permanent increases, like restoring some positions."
Several full-time and part-time positions were restored to various departments throughout the last couple of years. The County Council approved a $57.9 million budget in 2015, which represents an almost nine percent increase from the 2014 budget of $51.5 million.
Leavitt said the financial report is a "good starting point" moving forward and looking ahead to the FY 2016 budget, which starts next week. The county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
"It helps for planning and budgeting when you don’t have a whole lot of surprises and when it comes in as planned, we don’t have to make any major corrections in the current year or future year plan."
The county departments are required to submit their budget requests for 2016 on Friday. Leavitt said he will start sorting through those requests next week in anticipation of presenting them to the county’s budget committee sometime in the next few months.
To view the 2014 audit report, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/2308.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.