Selbyville Town Council receives a solid audit report

Police focus on safety outreach

The Selbyville Town Council got some good news — and familiar warnings — in their annual (non-investigative) audit report on Sept. 9.

“The financial statements are the responsibility of the management of the town,” said CPA Leslie Michalik of PKS & Company. “Our responsibility is to express an opinion on those financial statements, based on our audit.”

She gave a “clean” or “unmodified opinion,” which is the highest level possible. That means Selbyville’s records fairly present the Town’s financial standing.

Also, they did not find any instances of the Town’s being out-of-compliance with any grant or contract requirements.

However, they did find one significant deficiency, which is actually common among small towns that lack the resources to hire additional financial staff. Internal controls would be stronger if more people were involved in the writing and auditing of financial statements.

Most of the actual transactions occurred in 2018, since Selbyville’s fiscal year ends Jan. 31.

The governmental general fund balance was $1,067,218, which has mostly increased since 2015, mostly due to transfer taxes. With so much development and real estate activity, especially on Route 54, Selbyville has enjoyed a bump in transfer tax revenues (for which uses are restricted, to uses such as capital projects for public safety, infrastructure and debt reduction).

However, Michalik found it “a little concerning” that there is now a $145,000 deficit in the unassigned fund. Although Selbyville budgets low, she warned against relying too heavily on the real estate market for continuous funds.

Revenues for the general fund were $2.25 million (mostly property taxes, plus permits, fees and service charges), which was $200,000 more than last year and far more than budgeted this year.

Overall, the general fund did decrease from last year. Revenues were $361,600 under expenses, which the Town once again mitigated by transferring $168,000 from their utility fund.

Expenditures were $2.60 million, which was at least 40 percent higher than anticipated. About 37 percent of that was a somewhat-unexpected “capital outlay,” including purchasing the PNC property for a new town hall. The next 34 percent was salaries for two dozen employees (not including part-time police who focus on Mountaire); 10 percent for employee benefits and taxes; and 18 percent for other operating costs.

In a separate account, the overall net position of the utilities/garbage/industrial park fund now exceeds $17 million. Despite the transfer to the general fund and other loss, that valuation is higher than last year. Of that, $14.7 million is invested in the actual property and equipment; $1.47 million is restricted for capital projects; $1.2 million is unrestricted; and $150,000 is the sinking fund. Besides regular payments from customers, Selbyville also got $443,000 in impact fees and $330,000 in grants.

“In conclusion, the Town is in good financial shape,” Michalik said.

Every year during budget season, the Town decides whether an increase is warranted for permit fees or service charges. Water, sewer and garbage have increased in the past few years.

Impact fees are charged for water/sewer, and certain inspection fees are charged to cover the Town’s cost in inspecting projects.

One resident said she doesn’t like to see taxes increase, but she hopes developers would pay their fair share.

The mayor responded that the property tax rate has probably not increased since his time as mayor began.

 

Police meet the public and 

promote road safety

 

The Selbyville Police Department’s latest recruit just began a six-month police academy training this month. After graduation, he’ll have several months of probation before patrolling independently.

The public is being invited to meet the police and learn about emergency preparedness at the free “National Coffee with a Cop Day” at the Selbyville Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 10:30 a.m. (Their first “Pizza with the Police” event was recently a big hit with kids.)

People can watch for other upcoming police programs, including a railroad-crossing safety event and an active-shooter safety event, cohosted by the Selbyville fire department.

Police are also targeting speeding around town, particularly on Route 17 near the schools during the heaviest traffic hours.

And since some streets are too narrow for safe parking of tow trailers, officials are brainstorming updates to the parking code. However, until then, trailer parking is legal on town roads, as long as the equipment is legally registered and tagged.

Police also addressed safety in regard to concealed carry permits for guns: “If you feel that someone who has a permit is a threat, you can make a police report, and we have to follow up on that,” said Police Chief W. Scott Collins.

In other Selbyville news:

• Town-wide hydrant flushing will be on Oct. 7, which often shakes particles loose from town pipes. If tap water appears rusty, customers should run the faucet until the water runs clear. Residents may want to avoid washing light-colored laundry, or be prepared to use a rust stain remover.

• The municipal parking lot shared with Salem U.M. Church will be resealed and striped for a low-bid cost of $4,625. Salem owns the property, but the Town pays for maintenance and public parking.

• To improve traffic flow around their Hosier Street plant, Mountaire will pay for some paving projects. They also expect the power company to move a utility pole on Oct. 5.

To improve odors from the plant, Mountaire is preparing to activate an additional odor-control system at the cooling shed.

The Selbyville Town Council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m.

 

By Laura Walter

Staff Reporter