The Woodward News

Local News

May 9, 2013

Fort Supply financial situation continues to improve

Woodward, Okla. — FORT SUPPLY--The financial situation of the town of Fort Supply has vastly improved over the past year, according to the town's accountant.

In her monthly update to the town board members during their regular meeting Tuesday night, CPA Meredith Meacham-Wilson explained that Fort Supply has gone from being "over $200,000" in debt to soon possibly owing less than $10,000.

Since being hired as the town accountant in March 2012, Meacham-Wilson has been dedicated to trying to help the town pay off its outstanding bills.

She guided the town to implement utility rate changes, which she said has helped lead to a net profit of $164,000 in the town's Public Works Authority account as of April 30.

It is this increased revenue from improved utility collections that has helped to offset the town's debt, with Meacham-Wilson using the extra funds to cut checks to vendors.

Currently the town still has around $36,000 in overdue bills listed in its records, she said.  However, she explained that number may be inaccurate.

"Around $28,000 of that are from accounts that are listed as over 90 days past due.  But that isn't from 3 months ago, but rather invoices that were past 90 days before I started as your accountant. So they're from almost a year and a half ago," Meacham-Wilson said.

This $28,000 is listed as owed to more than 40 different vendors.

However, the accountant said that "as of right now, none of those vendors have asked for payment on those amounts."

She said this means that "the information about the amount we owed might have been incorrect because maybe it was based on estimates or maybe the invoice was put into the system twice."

So Meacham-Wilson said she thinks the town may be able to remove those debts from its records.

"I'm looking at in June with being comfortable with writing those debts off," she said.  "And what does that mean?  It means that we're looking at less than $10,000 that you still owe."

The majority of that remaining amount is owed to the accounting firm RS Meacham CPAs & Advisors for whom Meacham-Wilson works.  As of April 30, the town's accounts payable summary listed $7,750 due to the CPA's firm, which is a sign of her dedication to helping the town pay off its other outstanding accounts first.

In addition to making extensive headway on paying off debts, Meacham-Wilson said the town of Fort Supply is also seeing other positive financial indicators.

For example, she said the town is continuing to receive "strong sales tax collections."

She noted that as of April 30, the town had already surpassed the amount of sales tax collections that had been budgeted for the current Fiscal Year, which continues through the end of June. The FY 2013 budget for sales tax revenue was set at $26,000, and the town has already collected $29,297 in sales taxes.

While not as significant as the income from the utility rate increases, she said the extra $3,000 in sales tax collections still means more revenue for the city, "and that's a positive."

Overall, Meacham-Wilson said the town is in "an impressive place" financially.

"And it's because you've made those hard decisions as a board," she told town trustees.  "I commend you all and urge you to don't stop."

Because if the town is able to keep the progress going, she believes that its financial situation will only continue to improve.

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