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Sumter audit is clean for 2019

BY SHELBIE GOULDING
shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 1/16/20

After a new auditor reviewed the City of Sumter's annual financial statements, the outcome showed the city is using its money "the right way" within the community.

Sumter City Council held a special meeting on Monday to approve the city's annual …

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Sumter audit is clean for 2019

Posted

After a new auditor reviewed the City of Sumter's annual financial statements, the outcome showed the city is using its money "the right way" within the community.

Sumter City Council held a special meeting on Monday to approve the city's annual audit, which was reviewed by The Brittingham Group's Randy Cooper. Based out of Columbia, Cooper presented his findings on the city's comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019.

In retrospect, Cooper said, the City of Sumter reported an outstanding audit.

Sumter received an unmodified audit opinion in all areas, which is the highest level of reporting assurance an organization can receive from its independent auditor.

The financial position was also strong for the City of Sumter, as its assets exceeded its liabilities for the fiscal year with a net position of $105 million. That represents a $2.3 million decrease in net position compared to fiscal year 2018.

The net positions decrease is mainly due to a decrease in capital grants and contributions offset by an increase in property taxes, sales taxes and business and franchise fees, as well as a slight increase to general government, public safety, public works, economic development, community development and water and sewer services expenses.

City Manager Deron McCormick said this is a good thing for the City of Sumter, as the decrease in net position shows the city's money is coming in and getting spent on city projects, spending money "the right way on the right things."

"We're happy with seeing capital projects and significant actions of council come to fruition," McCormick said. "We're handling the money well based on what the report says, but also, we're seeing significant amounts of projects completed."

If not already finished, a list of capital projects are planned to be completed in the near future for both general governmental and business-type activity projects.

For example, the Swan Lake-Iris Gardens entrance way, Palmetto Tennis Center expansion, park constructions, building renovations and more are general government projects, and updates and work on storm drains, water plant wells and sewer connections are business-type projects. All of those ongoing as of June 30, 2019, are likely to be finished during this fiscal year, according to McCormick.

"In short, we're always trying to always better our community," McCormick said. "If we're going to spend money, we want to do good work and be on top of it. This audit report shows both and that we're handling the public's resources in the right way."

The audit also showed there were no internal control findings noted in the review, which McCormick said demonstrates trust in the city's financial team.

Sumter City Council unanimously approved the city's financial statements audit for the fiscal year June 30, 2019, as presented with Councilman Thomas Lowery and Councilwoman Ione Dwyer absent.