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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County highway department had a $3.38 million budget deficit as of December 31, 2019.
April Larson of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP presented the audit report to the Dunn County Board at the July 29 meeting.
The Dunn County Board met using the Zoom online platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The highway department’s expenses exceeded the revenue because of higher costs for maintenance and because of higher costs for winter maintenance, Larson said, noting the severe winter weather conditions in early 2019.
The ratio of current assets to current liabilities should be at least 1, she said.
For 2019, the highway department’s current assets to current liabilities was .27, Larson reported.
In 2018, the ratio was 4.43; in 2017, the ratio was 4.45; and in 2016, the ratio was 5.55.
At the end of 2018, the highway department had a budget deficit of $882,000, but at the end of 2017, the highway department had a budget surplus of $733,000.
The highway department had a budget deficit of $666,000 at the end of 2016.
The Neighbors of Dunn County also had a budget deficit at the end of 2019 of nearly $1.5 million.
In 2018, the Neighbors had a budget deficit of $1.29 million, and a budget deficit of $500,000 in 2017.
In 2016, the Neighbors had a budget deficit of $869,000.
The Neighbors owes the general fund $8.3 million, Larson said, while human services owes the general fund $1.4 million and the highway fund owes $2.1 million.
Human services had a positive balance at the end of the year and transferred $900,000 to the general fund, she said.
Part of the budget problem for The Neighbors is the low level of Medicaid reimbursement from the state of Wisconsin.
In recent years, Wisconsin has ranked last among the 50 states for the level of Medicaid reimbursement.
Dunn County’s health insurance fund had a budget deficit as well of $1.395 million at the end of 2019, which compares to a budget deficit of $612,000 at the end of 2018 and a deficit of $580,700 at the end of 2017.
The health insurance fund had a budget surplus of $743,000 in 2016.
Dunn County is self-funded for health insurance.
As of December 31, 2019, Dunn County’s unassigned general fund had a balance of $8,327,573, which was somewhat higher than the unassigned fund balance of $8,311,229 in 2018.
In 2017, the unassigned fund balance was $9.077 million, and in 2016, the unassigned fund balance was $14.7 million.
The recommendation is to have 25 percent of unassigned fund balance to general fund expenditures, Larson said.
In 2019, the percentage of unassigned fund balance to general fund expenditures was 38.6 percent, compared to 38.8 percent in 2018.
In 2017, the percentage of unassigned fund balance to general fund expenditures was 44.3 percent, compared to 77.8 percent in 2016.
General fund expenditures in 2019 were $21.5 million, compared to $21.4 million in 2018, $20.5 million in 2017 and $18.96 million in 2016.
Even though the fund balance in 2019 was a little more than $6 million less than in 2016, the fund balance is still at a good level, Larson said.