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County called clean, fiscally

October 31, 2000

County called clean, fiscally



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County Commissioners received a clean bill of budgetary health Tuesday when the Fiscal Year 2000 audited financial statement was presented to the County Commissioners.

The annual audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30 was done by Smith Elliott Kearns and Company LLC of Hagerstown. The audit concluded that the county's financial practices are clean, said Michael Manspeaker, an accountant who is a member of the firm. The audit turned up no major variances or errors, he said.

"Overall, the general fund is in pretty healthy shape," he added.

Total general fund revenues were $119.1 million in fiscal 2000, up from $112.1 million in 1999 and $106 million in 1998. Total general fund revenues were $98 million in 1997 and $68 million in 1991.

The general fund expenses were about $118.7 million. Of that, $65.9 million went to the Washington County Board of Education, $15 million to public safety, $12 million to general government and $10.4 million to debt service.

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Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the county continues to be pleased with the work done by the accounting firm.

Snook also praised the county staff: "You have done a good job managing the public's money."

The total budget is in better condition than in the early 90s when the overall economy wasn't as strong, Manspeaker said.

Total assets for the last fiscal year, including capital projects, special funds and money owed were $431.6 million for the county and $204.7 million for School Board, for a total of $636.4 million, the audit found. That amount does not include owned property such as roads.

The total liabilities and fund equity balance also were $636.4 million.

Under a new financial statement that will come into use in two years, the statements will include estimated values of property such as roads and bridges. The switch is being made to meet changing federal financial standards.

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