Audit finds Village of Ashwaubenon in strong financial position
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The village remains in a strong financial position, based on an audit of Ashwaubenon’s finances through the end of 2018.
Dave Maccoux from CliftonLarsonAllen presented the village board Tuesday, July 23, with a review of Ashwaubenon’s audit for last year.
“We are pleased to indicate that we did not find any deficiencies in terms of controls over the village,” Maccoux said. “We also, in our review of laws and regulations, did not find any non-compliance.”
Maccoux said the firm found the village’s internal financial controls to be well-designed.
He reported the village’s unassigned fund balance in the general fund had $5,568,635 to end 2018.
This is around 35 percent of the village’s budgeted general fund expenditures for 2019, and the village remains in an excellent cash flow position with bond rating agencies suggesting municipalities have an unassigned fund balance between 20-30 percent of general fund expenditures, Maccoux said.
“We continue to believe the village is well-structured in an excellent financial position and cash flow as you enter (the) 2019 fiscal year,” he said.
Maccoux said the village’s water utility is operating at a loss, so the firm is working with the village to review and structure rates.
“We will be reporting back, as part of the budget process, as part of the rate process, of where we think rates should be,” he said.
The audit report listed both operating and non-operating losses last year for the water utility totaling $151,214.
Maccoux said the village’s sewer utility is still in an excellent financial cash position, but because the sewer utility costs are heavily dependent on treatment costs, which have significantly increased in recent years, sewer rates are also being reviewed in relation to operating costs.
“(We’re) looking at the water and sewer utilities, but overall the village continues to be in a strong financial position,” he said. “You’re well-managing your resources that you have and that you’re required to manage.”
The village’s self-funded internal health and dental service funds, Maccoux said, both ended 2018 with revenues exceeding expenditures, $180,927 for health and $7,801 for dental.
When asked by Trustee Michael Malcheski about the village’s net general obligation debt increasing last year to more than $57 million, Maccoux said he had no concerns because of the effect Tax Incremental Financing has on that amount.
“When we look at this value, it’s increased a little bit, but that is primarily due to the TIF Districts that you have,” he said. “From our perspective – the values here – we have no concerns when we look at this. Every community is slightly different based on what has happened.”
Maccoux said village will be able to pay off the debt as long as the TIF District projects are successful.
“The village has always had a long history of positive TIF values,” he said.