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|Police jury receives third consecutive clean audit|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury has $128.7 million in total net assets, according to its annual audit report.
The audit was presented to police jurors Monday at their regular meeting.
Francis Huffman with Luffey, Huffman, Ragsdale & Soignier CPAs conducted the police jury's audit for the 2007 fiscal year.
"You had a good audit report … an unqualified opinion, which is the type of report you're looking for each year," Huffman said. "All of your funds have positive fund balances, with the exception of one small sewer district. You do have several funds that operate at a cash deficit, so you are borrowing from the general fund to help sustain those particular funds."
This marks the third consecutive year the police jury received a clean audit report.
For the fiscal year 2007, the police jury had a $15.7-million increase in total net assets.
"Assets of the police jury exceeded its liabilities by $128.7 million," the audit said. "Of this amount, $16 million may be used to meet the police jury's obligations to citizens and creditors."
Of the $128.7 million in total net assets, approximately $62.5 million is invested in capital assets, which includes land, buildings, infrastructure, machinery and equipment, according to the audit.
Also, the parish's "governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $63.3 million, an increase of $11.4 million from the prior year."
According to the audit, "approximately 93 percent of this total amount, $58.9 million, is unreserved and available for use within the police jury's designation and policies."
The police jury's general fund, the chief operating fund of the parish, had a total fund balance of $6.7 million at the end of the parish's 2007 fiscal year.
"For 2007, fund balance (for the general fund) increased by $3.8 million versus the $800,000 increase in 2006," the audit stated.
This increase was mainly due to the $3.7 million settlement with Hospital Service District No. 1, which was negotiated with the district after IASIS Healthcare bought Glenwood Regional Medical Center.
Fund balances for the parish fire department, public works department, Green Oaks Detention Center and Ouachita Correctional Center all increased during the 2007 fiscal year.
The public library fund balance decreased by $303,000 in 2007 due to a roofing project at the main branch and work to complete the Sterlington Memorial Branch. In 2006, the library fund increased by $700,000.
At the end of the 2007 fiscal year, fund balances for public works was $4.5 million; fire department, $9.2 million; public library, $9.6 million; Green Oaks Detention Center, $7.7 million; Correctional Center, $9.4 million.