WATERLOO — Black Hawk County government ended its last fiscal year with more money in the bank and less debt on its shoulders.

An audit and financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, showed the county’s unrestricted general fund reserves jumped from $12.3 million to $15.2 million during the year while general obligation debts fell more than $6 million.

“Overall I think your financial health is pretty stable,” said Doug Host, of the Cedar Rapids-based CliftonLarsonAllen auditing firm conducting the audit.

Host presented the document, required annually to ensure the county is properly accounting for its revenues and expense, to the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The unassigned general fund reserves represent cash the county can spend in an emergency or to keep the government operating between the start of a fiscal year and the receipt of property taxes.

Host said Black Hawk County’s reserves could keep the government running for more than five months, which is well within the margins typically favored by government accounting organizations.

But he urged the supervisors to keep their eye on the Country View nursing center fund balance, which absorbed a $972,000 loss in fiscal year 2017 and ended the year with a $1.2 million fund deficit.

Meanwhile, the county’s bonded debt fell $6.2 million to stand at $31.5 million last year. Host noted two-thirds of that outstanding bonded debt will be paid off in three years, assuming no new debt is added.

The audit found no instances where the county failed to comply with state laws. CliftonLarsonAllen did identify a “material weakness” after finding one transaction that had to be adjusted to properly report the county’s financial position.

That audit finding and a second recommendation to segregate staff financial duties at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center were chalked up to a lack of staffing. But county Finance Director Susan Deaton has presented plans to correct those issue in the future.

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Waterloo City Reporter

Waterloo city reporter for the Courier

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