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Ferriday’s net position $11,131,461
from The Concordia Sentinel
January 26, 2017 - ListenUpYall.com

(Concordia Sentinel) — The Town of Ferriday’s net position for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 totaled $11,131,461, according to a financial report released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

The certified public accounting firm of Silas Simmons LLP prepared the audit.

Auditors noted that the “beginning cash balance at June 30, 2015, for the Town of Ferriday was $1,424,135. The ending cash balance was $1,656,371 as of June 30, 2015, and $2,743,783 at June 30,2016.”

Governmental activities “had $2,562,583 in revenues in 2016 and $2,978,941 in revenues for 2015, which primarily consisted of sales taxes, properly taxes, occupational license taxes, franchise taxes, and fines. There was $2,746,917 in governmental expenses in 2016, and $2,569,503 in 2015.”

The town's budget was amended once during the fiscal year: “Expenditures were budgeted at $2,728,925 and revenue was budgeted at $2,554,075. Actual expenditures were more than budgeted amounts by $19,593 and actual revenue was $21,043 less than the budgeted amounts.”

Concerning pensions, the town reported “a liability of $351,613 for its proportionate share of the net pension liability … The Town's proportion of the net pension liability was based on a projection of the Town's long-term share of contributions to the pension plan relative to the projected contributions of all participating towns, actuarially determined. At June 30, 2015, the Town's proportion was .517346 percent.”

There was one finding in the audit concerning maintenance of utility subsidiary ledgers: “The accounts receivable listing includes a total of $234,257 in customer balances that are indebted to the Town of Ferriday. The Town maintains a total reserve for bad debts in the utility fund and general fund totaling $64,000 ... The Town's subsidiary ledgers contain so many accounts that are uncollectable or do not exist that the accounts receivable does not actually reflect a true accounts receivable.”

Auditors also noted: “Several years ago, the Town entered into a contract with a private water company which required the water company to operate all of the water system. Their requirements under this contract include the production of water, delivery of water, reading of meters, billing for water consumption, collection of water fees, and maintenance of customer billings. The Town accounts for the transactions in the general ledger, which is maintained by a private external CPA.”

Auditors recommended “that the Town and the private contractor review, on a monthly basis, the subsidiary ledger to determine those accounts that need to be purged from the system. The uncollectable accounts should be removed by the contractor and, at the same time, the Town should make entries on the general ledgers.”

It was noted: “No corrective action has been taken as of December 27, 2016.”

There was no response from the town.

The town administration did, however, issue a statement concerning its water system: “We are excited about the progress of the Town's water system and look forward to the completion and activation of the water system. We have worked diligently in ensuring that the Town's utility billing and collection practices are accurate and that all accounts are being monitored. We feel that the Town has employed individuals in vital positions who are capable of ensuring that these procedures are carried out and can be positively reflected in the findings of the Town's audit.

The town “reported a liability of $351,613 for its proportionate share of the net pension liability. The net pension liability was measured as of June 30, 2015, and the total pension liability used to calculate the net pension liability was determined by an actuarial valuation as of that date.

“The Town's proportion of the net pension liability was based on a projection of the Town's long-term share of contributions to the pension plan relative to the projected contributions of all participating towns, actuarially determined. At June 30, 2015, the Town's proportion was .517346 percent.

“For the year ended June 30, 2016, the Town recognized pension expense of $52,730 plus employer’s amortization of change in proportionate share and differences between employer contributions and proportionate share of contributions, $4,307.”

Five elected aldermen serve the town. Each is paid $500 per month for regular meetings and $100 for each special meeting.

Former Mayor Gene Allen’s salary for the fiscal year ending 2016 was $52,224. Aldermen Elijah Banks, Johnnie Brown, Somer Lance, Sandra G. Pryor and Gloria Lloyd were each paid $5,900 for the fiscal year.

The town employs 37.

Ferriday serves approximately 1,500 utility customers consisting of 1,350 residential customers and 150 commercial customers.

Ferriday was incorporated under provisions of the Lawrason Act in 1923.



 
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