Local Government Commission visits Pilot Mountain for site inspection

By Diane Blakemore - dblakemore@mail.com

PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Local Government Commission, a division of the State Treasurer’s Department which oversees the financial health of municipalities throughout the state, will be making an on-site visit to Pilot Mountain on Monday.

Composed of nine members and a staff, the LGC monitors the fiscal health of local governments, regulates annual financial reporting of local governments, and offers broad assistance in financial administration to local governments.

“This is considered an advisory meeting to emphasize the importance of the finance officer position and address internal control issues reported in 2014,” said Brad Young, spokesperson for the LGC.

Pilot Mountain has been receiving annual letters from the LGC stating concern in various financial matters since at least 2006, according to Town Manager Amanda Reid. The issues addressed include a low fund balance, inadequate water and sewer rates, lack of internal controls, inconsistent pre-audit process, and improper budgeting for debt service payments.

“Our staff has worked hard to make improvements during the past year, and we want to keep moving in a positive direction,” said Reid.

In a letter dated October 2014, Sara Shippee, CPA for the LGC, notes an improvement in the fund balance of 10.72 percent, stating, “the board, management, and the citizens are to be commended for that improvement.”

While a number of improvements have been made, the town is still not in a financial position that would be considered “healthy” by the LGC. The lack of a long-term financial officer and inadequate internal controls remain major concerns for the town.

“The LGC is not our enemy. They are here to help us,” Reid explained.

Representatives from the LGC will be present to share their recommendations at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday in Town Hall.

Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.

By Diane Blakemore


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