The Town of Ferriday’s net position decreased in 2019, resulting in an ending net position of $12,500,984.

The net position had increased in 2018 to $13,260,037.

Ferriday’s finances were discussed in an audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. The report was released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor on Monday and prepared by Silas Simmons LLP of Natchez.

The report notes:

“The ending cash balance was $844,733 as of June 30, 2019, and $851,300 at June 30,2018.

“The governmental activities had $2,471,311 in revenues in 2019 and $2,708,984 in revenues for 2018, which primarily consisted of sales taxes, property taxes, occupational license taxes, franchise taxes, and fines.

“There was $2,745,459 in governmental expenses in 2019 and $2,747,797 in 2018.”

According to the Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balances, revenues for 2019 totaled $2,471,311 and included, $1,434,050, general fund; $127,074, general obligation fund; $101,615, licenses and permits; $14,600, federal funds; $93,903, state funds; $176,086, charges for services; $335,971, fines; $84, interest income; and $187,550, miscellaneous.

Expenditures totaled $2,558,722, including $604,676, general government and administration; $1,004,993, police; $258,370, fire; $340,702, streets; $156,252, sanitation; $45,242, recreation; $47,753, capital outlay; $70,000, principle; and $30,734, interest.

The result was a deficit of $87,411.

The town amended its budget twice during the past fiscal year.

“Expenditures were budgeted at $2,363,055, and revenue was budgeted at $2,324,613,” the audit notes. “Actual expenditures were more than budgeted amounts by $13,399, and actual revenue was $18,194 less than the budgeted amounts … the town had a net of $4,836,586 invested in capital assets in the governmental activities and $10,462,609 in the business-type activities. This year, there were additions of $47,753 in the governmental activities and $29,955 in the business-type activities.”

The town’s management said it is “excited about the town's new water system, which is now online. 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.”

There were four findings, including a lack of maintenance of utility subsidiary ledgers, audited financial statements not completed by the due date, customer deposit liability exceeded the amount of cash available by $6,464 and safe drinking water fees from 2002 to 2012 totaling $45,000 have not been paid.

Town management responded that it would work to correct the issues raised.

According to the audit, Ferriday’s population was 3,511 as of the 2010 census.

The town employed 48 at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, had 1,500 utility customers including 1,350 residential and 150 commercial accounts.

During the past fiscal year, Mayor Sherrie Jacobs Mahon received compensation amounting to $54,793, including $44,000, salary; $6,499, benefits-retirement; $2,422, mayor’s expense; $671, dues; $445, per diem; $87, reimbursements; and $669, travel.

Aldermen Chryl Smith-Lee, Glenn Henderson, Sandra G. Pryor, Gloria Lloyd and Andre J. Keys were each paid $6,100 during the fiscal year.

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