Mt. Vernon Register-News

August 29, 2013

RLCD audit clean with 'no issues'

The Register-News

---- — BENTON — The Rend Lake Conservancy District received its audit for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, with a report of “no issues.”

According to representatives of the auditing firm Sikich, there were no issues with the audit, with only a “couple of other recommendations ... just internal items” given to administration.

“Net position increases of $9,434,843 in this fiscal year and $1,758,027 in the prior fiscal year continue to improve the financial position of the District,” the management section of the audit states. “The prior year increase included grant revenue and contributions of $303,252. Without the grant revenue the

increase last year would have been $1,454,775. Cash, cash equivalents and investments increased by $5,651,223. Investment income decreased from $60,482 last year to $42,214. The decrease can be attributed to continued low interest rates and declining cash balances.

“In the enterprise funds operating revenues increased by $929,826 over the prior year,” the audit continues. “Operating expenses increased by $151,868 resulting in an increase in operating revenue of $777,958 compared to last year. Total non-operating revenue increased by $41,119 in large part because of the $46,000 grant received in this fiscal year. Contribution revenue was $7,124,794 this year and $303,252 last year. This year’s revenue came from the payment for a project by the ultimate customer. As a result the change in net position in the enterprise funds was $7,640,619 more than it was last year.”

The audit states the district received less than 4 percent of its total revenue during the fiscal year from property taxes, which were $456,730.

“On the most recent levy the district tax for a property with a fair market value of $100,000 amounted to only $24 a year,” the audit states. “The district levied a tax rate of .1226 (per $100) for taxes paid in 2005. The rate for taxes paid in 2013 was .07248, a reduction of 40 percent. The Board of Trustees success in reducing property taxes is even more impressive when compared to other taxing bodies.”

The Government Fund is the administrative fund for the district, receipts for the audited fiscal year came from property taxes t $398,393; personal property replacement taxes at $73,593; interest and miscellaneous income at $2,237; and administration fees of $480,000 from other funds.

“Net position increased during the fiscal year by $73,649,” the audit states. “Revenues were 105 percent of budgeted. Expenditures were 95 percent of budgeted expenses.”

In the Inter-City Water fund, 35 wholesale customers purchased 5,144,610,613 gallons of water at an average price of $1.75 per thousand gallons. About 1,200 retail customers purchased 183,676,256 gallons at an average price of $3.69 per thousand gallons. Total sales were up from the prior year by 225 million gallons which translates to a monetary increase of $635,521.

“Total water sales in this fiscal year surpassed $9.7 million and 5.3 billion gallons for the first time in the District’s history,” the audit states, and goes on to speak of the membrane filtration system which was completed in August 2010 for a cost of $19,610,942.

“The membrane expansion is completed but not placed in service because the district has not accepted the project,” the audit explains. “After a trial period the district determined the membrane system increased cost instead of reducing cost. Increased cost resulted from the need for additional unexpected chemicals, the labor intensity of operating the system, and a variety of other issues.”