The Town of Ferriday’s net position stood at $3.7 million at the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, according to a financial report released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

The report was compiled by the certified public accounting firm The Vercher Group in Jena.

There were three findings.

According to the report, the town’s net position in 2020 decreased $69,211 from the previous position in 2019.

“The Town had total revenue of $2,562,855 in which $1,512,044 came from taxes, $263,792 came from fines, and $187,704 came from fees and charges,” the report says. “This is a $91,544 increase from last year's revenues, mainly due to an increase in reimbursements in the amount of $278,117.

“The Town had total expenditures of $2,583,265, which is a $24,543 increase from last year. The main cause for this increase is due to an increase in general and administrative expense in the amount of $99,865.”

Concerning the Enterprise Fund, the report said:

“The assets of the Town exceeded its liabilities at the close of the most recent fiscal year by $8,558,372 {net position}. This is a $164,692 decrease from last year.

“The Town had total revenue of $1,599,717, including operating revenues of $1,486,900, non-operating revenues of $1,610 and capital contributions in the amount of $111,207. This is a $255,915 increase from last year, mainly due to an increase in capital contributions in the amount of $111,207.

“The Town had total expenses of $1,510,175, in which $1,448,884 was operating expenses and $61,291 was non-operating expenses. This is a $20,532 decrease from last year mainly due to a decrease in sewer operating expense in the amount of $103,048.”

In the statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in the general fund, the report said that revenues for the year totaled $2,582,991, including $185,767, fees and charges; $1,486,295, taxes; $139,420, licenses and permits; $301,878, fines; $44, interest income; $333,740, reimbursements; $10,841, capital grants; and $125,006, other general revenues.

Total expenditures were $2,444,019 including $2,048,025, general and administrative; $106,690, police; $175,184, sanitation; and $114,120, capital outlay.

The result was an excess of revenue over expenditures totaling $138,972.

The ending fund balance was $393,921, up from then beginning balance of $167,095.

There were three findings in the audit:

2020-1 Safe Drinking Water Fee (Compliance) Condition: “The Town did not remit Safe Drinking Water Fee payments from years 2002 to 2012 … the Town should have remitted $2.88 per service connection annually to the State … Town was not aware of the fees or the need for them to be remitted to the State … The Town is not in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Program under OPR … We recommend that the Town pay the fees owed of approximately $45,000.”

The responded that it would work to correct the issue.

2020-2 Maintain Reserve Accounts Required by Bond Covenants (Compliance) Condition: “The Town did not maintain reserve accounts required in bond covenants … The Town is required to maintain a Debt Service Fund, Reserve Fund, and Depreciation and Contingencies Fund and maintain as required in bond covenants … The Town should maintain its reserve account in accordance with bond covenant requirements.”

The town responded that it would “maintain reserve accounts as required and fund the accounts according to the bond covenants.”

2020-3 Customer Deposit Cash (Internal Control) Condition: “The customer deposit liability exceeds the amount of cash available. Customer deposits per the general and subsidiary ledgers are $95,075. The related available cash for these deposits was $79,590, which leaves an underfunded amount of $15,485. 71 … There should be sufficient cash to cover customer deposits … The customer deposits assets and liability accounts are not being reviewed and reconciled appropriately … We recommend that all customer deposit-related accounts be reviewed and reconciled appropriately.”

The town responded that management “will work to correct this issue.”

For the 2020 fiscal year, aldermen Glen Henderson, Andre Keyes, Gloria Lloyd and Sandra Gail Pryor were each paid $6,300 annually.

The report aldermen receive $500 for regular meetings and $100 for special meetings.

Chief of Police Arthur Lewis was paid $45,360.

Mayor Sherrie McMahon, whose term ended at the conclusion of the 2020 fiscal year, was paid $44,000 in salary and $4,738, retirement benefits; $404, reimbursements; and $629, travel.

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