City enjoys clean audit

By: Brandon Tester - Staff writer
Wayne Horne

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council on Wednesday received and accepted a clean audit for the previous fiscal year.

Mat Patterson, of Patterson & Associates PLLC, of Lumberton, said there were no negative findings in the report, but the city should always strive to improve its finances.

“It’s what we strive for every year,” City Manager Wayne Horne said of the audit. “Reflected in all of this is some of the policy decisions that the council has made. The policy decisions are now showing that the city’s financial situation has improved considerably over the last several years, and it’s a direct result of what the council’s action has been.”

The city’s General Fund balance percentage, or the difference between assets and liabilities, is roughly 17 percent, Patterson said. That is an increase of almost 2 percent from four years ago.

Some accounts, such as the city’s water and sewer fund, were in good standing despite taking a financial hit from Hurricane Matthew.

Patterson said one of the most important parts of the audit was complying with regulations for spending state and federal money.

“The finance department here does a great job knowing how to spend money,” Patterson told the council members.

When Councilman Chris Howard Jr. asked Patterson to rate the success of the audit on an academic scale, Patterson said Lumberton is an a “solid ‘A’ position.”

In other business, the council:

—Approved an amendment to a Community Development Block Grant-funded contract awarded to the Wooten Company for the Town Common and First Street demolition site. A total of $3,625.25 was added to the contract in order to cover the cost of a state-mandated petroleum vapor intrusion study.

— Approved the purchase of a new water and sewer service truck under state contract. The truck is a Ford F450 and costs about $60,600. The budget already includes $75,000 allocated for such a purchase.

— Awarded a contract to RGS Builders Inc. for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant building. The current structure is dilapidated beyond the point of repair.

— Agreed to schedule a public hearing for a noncontiguous annexation petition submitted by Donovan Oliver for property located at N.C. 711 and Deep Branch Road.

— Approved the designation of $1,500 from Community Revitalization funds to Christian Aid Ministries to help cover medical expenses from a car crash on Feb. 6. during which two of its members died.

— Approved the the designation of $500 in Community Revitalization Funds for Community Watch efforts in Precinct 4.

— Approved the designation of $50 for housing rehabilitation at 2170 California Drive.

— Approved the designation of $100 to the Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America to be used for various activities and programs.

— Approved a request to allow city staff members to create an encroachment agreement for fiber optic cable in the city right of way.

— Approved the purchase of a DesignJet T2530 plotter for $8,161.25. The plotter previously used by the city has been rendered inoperable.

— Approved a rezoning petition from Shelter Investments Development Corporation for property located off Dunn Road. The property is to be used only for housing for the elderly and disabled.

— Approved rezoing property located at 306 E. 21st St. from Residential Single Family to a Business Community. designation.

Wayne Horne Horne

Brandon Tester

Staff writer

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected]

Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected]