ROWLAND — The town of Rowland has seen a drop in revenue and expenses, according to John Masters, of the S. Preston Douglas and Associates firm, who presented the yearly audit to the Board of Commissioners during its meeting Tuesday night.
The report shows a decrease in revenue of $37,619 for the 2011-12 fiscal year from the previous year, and a drop in expenses of $56,069. The unassigned portion of the General Fund is currently at 6 percent, which is below the state’s recommendation of 8 percent, Masters said.
The audit shows that the collection rate for property taxes increased marginally, from 87.26 to 87.92 percent, but revenue from sales tax was down.
Masters said the town’s garbage collection and water and sewer revenues have remained in line with previous years.
“You’re really doing a good job in keeping the revenue steady and holding the line on rate increases,” Masters said. “Because you have to be responsive to the community, you represent and decide when to increase that revenue.”
The town’s total operating expenditures showed a loss of $91,552, but Masters said that included a deduction of $149,101 for depreciation of equipment.
There was also a payment of $11,500 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damage done during a tornado that hasn’t been collected, Masters said.
“I know before FEMA, before our tornado, we had a $50,000 (Certificate of Deposit) and it was expended because of expenses we had with FEMA,” Commissioner Marvin Shooter said. “We were under the impression that that would be reimbursed, but to my knowledge that has not been returned.”
The board also announced that the town reached an agreement with Amy Clifton to handle the town’s fire inspections starting on Jan. 1. Clifton will be paid half of all of the fire inspection fees collected by the town, according to Town Clerk Blake Proctor.
The town amended a policy to allow the work to be done by a contractor and not a town employee.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
n Heard from South Robeson High School agriculture teacher James Robinson, who requested land to start an organic gardening project for his students.
n Heard students from Rowland Middle School perform Christmas carols.
n Tabled a discussion on purchasing new software for billing.
n Tabled a discussion a pay increase for town employees.
n Canceled its Dec. 26 meeting because of Christmas.