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County gets clean audit, talks trash pick up

Pike commissioners and citizens heard good news about the county’s financial situation during the annual audit at their Jan. 13 meeting. ’The county has a clean audit report, which is good because a lot of governments have trouble with their audits,’ said Mark Hardison of the accounting firm Clifton, Lipford, Hardison and Parker LLC. ‘We also issue an opinion on your financial statement and we are issuing the best option the county can receive.’ Hardison said the county had a total fund balance of around $2.6 million at the end of the 2015 fiscal year and receives around 60% of revenues from property taxes. ’You have a strong fund balance and you need a strong fund balance because if anything goes wrong in the county, you can’t go borrow the money from any other fund so that’s a good sign,’ said Hardison. ‘You did not overspend any of the expenditures either. Your county does an excellent job with overseeing the budget and I have to commend the county manager for management of the budget and Kay and other staff as well.’ Hardison said the county’s staff was a pleasure to work with and suggested they make a few changes and submit their audit to the Government Finance Officers Association to be recognized for their positive audit and perhaps get a lower bond rate in the future. He also suggested county officers evaluate capital assets on a quarterly basis. Commissioners also discussed trash along county roads and county manager John Hanson encouraged citizens to get out and pick up trash in front of their properties. It was noted that a Pick Up Pike meeting was held Friday, Jan. 15 and several commissioners planned to attend along with a display of the orange vests, signs and trash bags that are available to citizens who request them. ’Other local governments are having the same problem,’ said county attorney Rob Morton. ‘One municipality provided a bin for recyclables but folks were using it to dump trash so they removed the receptacle. Citizens from outside the city continued to dump trash in the spot even though there was no dumpster there.’ It was noted that there have been several areas of road – including Old Meansville Road – where entire bags of trash have been dumped. Morton said cards with addresses have been located and the issue is being followed up on. The first reading of a new credit card policy/resolution was approved by commissioners after much discussion. The statewide movement to update credit card policies at the governmental level has escalated after several public officials in the state used government cards for personal use. Instead of there being only one card for the county, each department will have a card and will handle the statement each month, with the commissioners’ office investigating every use of the cards and retaliating when necessary. The county also: ’¢ Approved a tax resolution in connection with the board of education’s issuance of general obligation bonds after voters approved the action in 2015. ’¢ Approved setting qualifying fees for 2016 county elections based on calculations set by state law, including a $180 fee for county commission chairman, $162 fee for county commissioners, $1,392 for magistrate judge, $1,392 for probate judge, $1,392 for Superior Court Clerk, $1,392 for tax commissioner, $1,616 for sheriff, $265 for coroner and $72 for school board members. ’¢ Elected Tim Daniel as vice chairman for the Pike County board of commissioners. ’¢ Approved request from Kevin Teate of two park renovations to be paid from the recreation impact fee for just over $49,000. ’¢ Held a public hearing and approved a final plat approval for a six-lot family residential subdivision on 25.72 acres off Highway 109 East and Walker Road. ’¢ Approved CCS Probation Services for Pike County Superior Court. The provider is also being used by the Pike County Magistrate Court. County manager Hanson noted that those who are sentenced to probation should be made to do so and sheriff’s deputies and staff are willing to make that happen. ’¢ Approved a letter of support for the Downtown Development Authority which is applying for a grant to research what types of revitalization are needed. Hanson recommended assisting with in-kind contributions of staff time and maybe photo copies. ’¢ Approved trade-in and lease renewal of Caterpillar dump trucks. ’¢ Approved items as surplus to be sold via

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