Hicks appointed Bennett County Auditor effective November 1

By Taylor Risse

The October 16 regular meeting of the Bennett County Commissioners was held with a courtroom full of county residents.

Al Schaefer, Auditor with the State of South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit, met with the board to discuss the county’s upcoming audit and to try and shed some light on the hot topic at hand, the $2.7 million dollars of surplus.

Schaefer informed the board he will be doing a fiscal and compliance audit. The county does get billed for the audit at $71.50 an hour.

Commissioner Rolf Kraft asked Schaefer what the laws are regarding having 40 percent in surplus. Kraft asked what the county needed to do to be legal.

Schaefer responded, “You’re allowed to have, as an undesignated fund balance in the general fund, 40 percent of your next year’s budget. I was looking at your 2020 budget, so you’re allowed about $700,000 is what the 40 percent would be. Anything above that would be surplus. There are ways you can get around calling that surplus. We go with what’s called “undesignated” fund balance. Some counties will designate money for election equipment or roof repair. You can even designate in the general fund for maybe a major road project, even computers and stuff like that. Any of those things that you guys designate comes off the top of that money, too, before we do the calculation of the 40 percent.” 

(See p. 1, 10-23-2019 edition for full text)

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