(Dec. 14, 2017) The Town of Berlin is in strong financial position, according to a fiscal year 2017 audit report by Salisbury firm PKS & Company.
Berlin received an unmodified or clean opinion, which is the highest level of assurance given, PKS partner Michael Kleger told the Town Council Monday night.
Kleger reported that the town’s combined net position as of June 30 was $30.5 million. Of that, about $27.5 million was invested in capital assets and $1.8 million was restricted, leaving an unrestricted balance of $2.2 million.
The town electric fund had an operating income of $312,000 and a total increase in net position of $130,000, compared to a net decrease of $75 last year. Service charges were up 6 percent and operating expenses rose 4 percent.
The water fund had an operating loss of $176,000 and a total increase in net position of $341,000, compared to a net increase last year of $48,000. Special connection fees were up substantially, $531,000 during fiscal 2017 against $48,000 during the previous year, largely because of the addition of the Cannery Village development.
The Sewer Fund had an operating loss of $839,000 and a total increase in net position of $305,000, compared to a decrease in net position last year of $1 million. Special connection fees of $1.4 million were also up substantially.
The Stormwater Fund had an operating loss of $136,000, not counting capital grants of $916,000 and a transfer from the general fund of $50,000. Grants from the Community Development Block Grants and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources were received for flood and drainage projects.
According to the audit statement, there were no amendments to the town budget throughout the year.
At the end of the fiscal period, the town had $45.4 million of accumulated depreciation invested in capital assets.
Major additions to the capital asset list included Cannery Village, construction of the new Berlin Police Department and the Flower Street wetlands, four 2017 Ford pickup trucks, two 2016 Chevy Tahoe’s, one 2016 Ford Escape and one 2017 Ford F350, a 2016 mini excavator, 2015 John Deere cab tractor and 2016 John Deere bush hog.
“We feel like the financial records for the year are in good order,” PKS Manager Leslie Michalik said. “We encountered no significant difficulties in conducting our audit. Natalie [Saleh] and the rest of the finance department were very cooperative and responsive to all our requests and inquiries. Overall, the financial health of the town appears strong.”
The Town Council voted unanimously to accept the audit results.
To view the full report, visit www.berlinmd.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/FY17AuditedStatements.pdf.