Auditor: Colfax financials in fine shape

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  According to the village’s auditor with Bauman Associates, Colfax is solvent and is in good financial shape.

Eric Davidson, a CPA with Bauman Associates out of Eau Claire, presented the auditor’s report for 2013 at the Colfax Village Board’s September 29 meeting.

Davidson noted that the auditors proposed  “numerous” journal entries to adjust the financial statements for the general fund, rescue squad, debt service and water and sewer funds and that many of these should be made by the village’s management prior to the audit.

On the other hand, he said, the number of journal entries needed for adjustment had decreased substantially over the previous year.

Jackie Ponto, Davidson pointed out, was the village’s first full-time administrator-clerk-treasurer in quite some time.

Village clerk-treasurer John Jahr died in November of 2010. Ponto was hired in the summer of 2012. Between the time of Jahr’s death and Ponto beginning employment with the village, there was a series of deputy clerks, part-time clerks, and temporary clerks, along with Kathy Morse, a clerk from Rice Lake, who filled in when she could, mostly working on weekends.

Here is some of the information included in the 44-page auditor’s report:

• The beginning general fund balance on January 1, 2013, was $1.43 million. The ending balance on December 31, 2013, was $1.76 million.

• The youth softball and baseball trust had an ending balance on December 31, 2013, of $50,928.

• The Village of Colfax receives a payment of $527 per month from Colfax Prairie Homes beginning in December of 1996 and continuing through November 1, 2026, bearing an interest rate of 3 percent. Westcap has purchased Colfax Prairie Homes and is working toward making it a non-profit, Ponto said.

• The Community Development Block Grant revolving loan fund consists of notes from 21 village residents for a total of $306,673. The notes are interest free and have various maturity dates. Village residents who have CDBG loans pay the money back when they sell the property, and then the money is available for another village resident to use.

Designated funds

The Village of Colfax also has designated funds with the following balances as of December 31, 2013:

• Future CDBG program expenditures — $31,735.

• Perpetual care for Evergreen Cemetery — $28,500.

• Future library operations — $17,848.

• Donations or grants for improvements to the Colfax Municipal Building — $77,912.

• Future improvements to the Colfax Municipal Building — $165,280.

• TIF #3 expenditures and debt service — $104,576

• TIF #4 expenditures and debt service — $24,659

• Major equipment replacement for various departments — $347,259

• Future ambulance operations — $124,488

• The undesignated, unassigned funds in the general fund amounted to $954,622 as of December 31, 2013.

Debt limit

As per state law, Colfax has a debt limit established at 5 percent of the village’s equalized value of $45.368 million.

The total debt limit is $2.268 million.

Current long-term debts applicable to the debt margin are $1.269 million, leaving a borrowing capacity of $999,468.

From 2014 to 2028, the village’s long-term debt obligation amounts to $1.11 million in principal and $194,000 in interest.