The Town of St. Joseph’s assets exceeded its liabilities by $9.6 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.

That’s according to a financial report prepared by the accounting firm of J. Walker & Company and released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

The report noted that $181,309 was reported in unrestricted net position, which may be used to meet the government's ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors.

“The Town's total net position decreased $232,560 or 2% mainly because of charges for services revenue. Licenses and permits revenue were slightly higher this year, while utility billings were slightly higher.

“As of the close of the current fiscal year, the Town's governmental funds reported a combined ending fund balances of $363,322 a decrease of $23,047 or 6% in comparison with the prior year. Approximately 94% of this amount or $343,167 was available for spending at the Town's discretion (unassigned fund balance).

“At the end of the current fiscal year, assigned fund balance for the governmental funds was $20,155, or approximately 6% of total general fund expenditures.”

Also reported in the audit:

“By far, the largest amount of the Town's net position reflects its investment in capital assets of $9,460,003 (e.g., land, buildings, machinery, and equipment), less any related debt used to acquire those assets that is still outstanding. The Town uses these capital assets to provide services to citizens; consequently, these assets are not available for future spending.

“Although the Town's investment in its capital assets is reported net of related debt, it should be noted that the resources needed to repay this debt must be provided from other sources, since the capital assets themselves can't be used to liquidate these liabilities. An additional portion of the Town's net position, $18,061, represents resources that are subject to external restrictions on how they may be used. Remaining for unrestricted net position is a surplus balance of $181,309.”

The report says the town’s general fund at the end of the current fiscal year had a balance of $343,167, down by $23,047 from previous year.

Revenues for 2020 increased from $393,134 in 2019 to $396,802, an increase of one percent.

“This increase is the result of a slight increase in charge for services, according to the report. “Expenditures increased $74,457 or 22%. Expenditures for general government had the most significant increase.

In a statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balances for governmental funds in the general fund, the report shows a deficit for the past fiscal year of $23,047.

Revenues totaled $396,802, including $43,340, ad valorem; $104,438, sales and use; $113,887, charges for services; $96,397, licenses, permits and commission for services; $12,000, intergovernmental-state; $1,385, fines and forfeits; $16,908, use of money and property; and $8,447, miscellaneous revenue.

Expenditures totaled $419,849, including $171,119, general government; $100,626, public safety; $145,105, public work; and $2,999, culture and recreation.

The beginning fund balance was $366,214 and the ending fund balance was $343,167.

The report says the Town of St. Joseph and Town of Newellton jointly own a gas pipeline that “transports natural gas to the Towns. The jointly owned line is operated independently of the Towns. The carrying value of the investment is recorded on the equity method. The annual net income is added to the investment and cash withdrawals, and net losses are deducted from the investment value.”

The joint fund as of June 30, 2020 showed a net position deficit of $4,164. Assets totaled $6,089 and liabilities amounted to $10,251.

There were no findings.

Compensation for aldermen during the past fiscal year totaled $7,125, including $1,500 each for aldermen Theodore Jackson, John Lewis, Jerry Newman and Carl Olds Jr.; $1,000 for Antionette Shields; and $125, for LaPeteria Watson.

Mayor Elvadus Fields Jr. received total compensation, benefits and other payments totaling $19,562, including $18,000, salary; $1,377, Social Security and Medicare benefits; and $185, reimbursement for materials and supplies.

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