John M. Nonnemacher, a certified public accountant for Snyder and Clemente in Hazleton, presented the Nesquehoning Water Authority's audit findings for 2010 and 2011, at a special meeting last Thursday.
The authority received an unqualified opinion, which means that the "financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America."
Nonnemacher suggested that the authority implement a change in the way the cash reconciliations are handled, whereby obtaining a complete segregation of duties in order to prevent possible fraud and for early detection of errors.
For 2011, the authority realized a total increase in revenue of approximately $120,000, with about $75,000 from the rate increase that took place part way through the year and the remaining $45,500 from an increase in consumption for the sale of the reservoir water.
"It is important to note for the rate payers that the rate increase was important because you have to have proper working capital, especially since you are going to be undertaking that tank project," Nonnemacher said.
He added that the $608,000 grant that was received for the tank was "a terrific windfall for the authority" and "the public should acknowledge and be grateful for that."
Other findings Nonnemacher highlighted included: total operating revenue for 2011 was $750,000, compared to $631,000 in 2010. Total plant expenses for 2011 were $377,000, compared to $354,000 in 2010. Total operating expenses for 2011 were $567,000, resulting in an operating income of approximately $182,000.
Current assets were reported at $413,000 with current liabilities being $325,000, resulting in $88,000 in working capital.
It was noted that in September 2012, the authority will make its last payment on the Cogeneration billing, which will help with cash flow. Additionally, then PennVest loan will be paid off in March 2015, which will also help with cash flow.
Nonnemacher said that the new Peachtree program will be installed in January and training will be provided.
The authority will continue to review the audit and will entertain any motions to accept the audit at the next meeting.
Following the audit presentation, authority members discussed the new budget.
Preliminary figures estimate total revenue at $805,000 and total expenses at $803,425, resulting in revenue over expenses of $1,575.
The projected increase in expenses for the year will include increased fees to the authority for water testing, mandated radio updates, road repairs up to the tank in New Columbus, costs above the $608,000 grant for the tank project and for the possible purchase of a new truck.
Resident Tom Merman expressed his concern over increases in expenditures.
Authority vice president, Frank Parano responded by saying, "What we are sitting here doing is trying to deal with reality. The reality is, everything is going up."