Auditor: TDA in good financial standing

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

JONESVILLE — This year was a good one for tourism dollars in Jonesville, according to the annual audit presented at Tuesday night’s Tourism Development Authority meeting.

Ashley Crim of Cannon & Company in Winston-Salem presented the TDA’s audit to the authority board members noting no problems were found with the audit as the finances were reviewed.

What was given to the board Tuesday was a draft copy of the audit though, because the Local Government Commission, which has to give final approval to the audits prior to them being official, was running behind on reviewing them, Crim reported.

She said the good news from the audit is the town had $306,000 in revenues in 2014-15, which comes from an occupancy tax levied at hotels and overnight lodging establishments within the town limits. With expenditures of $250,000, the TDA’s net income at the end of the year was $56,500, which will be added to the authority’s fund balance.

“Looking back at last year’s revenues, they were $279,000, so we had an increase in revenue. And expenditures were down about $9,100 over last year,” Crim reported.

At the end of the fiscal year, the fund balance was reported at $210,000.

“It is very straight-forward. There is nothing unusual,” Crim said of the audit.

One concern the auditors did have was in the reports the hotels give of how much they report in revenues that are taxable by the TDA. She asked the TDA members’ opinions about auditing a couple of the hotels to make sure the amount they are reporting as taxable is correct, so that the town is sure it is getting what it’s supposed to be receiving.

The TDA members discussed the audit of hotels, but with three of the town’s five hotels reporting their revenues in nearly the same way, they decided against the audit.

“We took our monthly computerized accounting and did taxes from that,” said Anita Darnell, chairperson of the TDA and a local hotel manager. “So I don’t think it would be a problem.”

TDA member Danny Lewis said he thought the hotel audit “would be a waste of time.”

Once the LGC reviews the audit and gives its approval, Crim said her company would provide the final audit reports for the town record, although she didn’t expect any changes from what was presented Tuesday.

Also, during the meeting, Judy Wolfe reported that the Jonesville Historical Society would no longer be requesting funding to repair the roof on the former town hall building.

The building had been offered to the society by the town at a cost of $1 a year to be used as a heritage craft center, but the roof was in disrepair. Since that offer by the town, land behind the existing Jonesville History Center has been donated to the group for that purpose. Until the center can be set up, loom and weaving classes are being held at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center in Jonesville.

She said a new project by the Yadkin County Veterans Office may be something the TDA would like to get involved with, as the veterans officer is launching a program to recognize area veterans on large 3-by-3-foot banners which will hang from area utility poles. The Yadkin County Salutes program will share the veteran’s picture, name, unit served with and where, Wolfe said.

“In January, it will be presented to the town council,” Wolfe said. “I may come back, if it is appropriate, to see if the [TDA] board would consider purchasing five flags to honor soldiers from our past.”

The cost of the banners are $60 each, she said.

Another project Wolfe proposed in an effort to raise funding for the Jonesville Greenway project is a midnight 5K run. She suggested holding it in late winter or early spring. No further details were discussed about the proposed run.

In other business, the TDA board:

• Voted unanimously to continue its page three advertisement in the On The Vine magazine for the next year.

• Voted unanimously to use the Christmas tree the town previously placed in the lobby of the town hall building for an outdoor Christmas tree and to spend up to $200 on lights and decorations for the tree.

• Tabled a decision on whether to provide a requested $5,000 to continue being part of the Yadkin Valley Heritage Corridor partnership until more information can be obtained from the corridor group on what funding is used for and how the requested amounts were determined.

• Voted unanimously to extend its contract with Douglas Billboards for 24 months. The TDA has five billboards through this company.

• Discussed replacements on the TDA for Vanessa Caudill, who recently resigned her post. The position must come from the hotel industry as the board is set up, and the members voted unanimously to recommend Bob Patel to the Jonesville Town Council for consideration.

• Voted unanimously to make sure each of the five welcome center employees gets a $50 bonus after taxes this year.

• Voted to cancel the December TDA meeting and instead have a Christmas dinner outing on Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Theo’s Restaurant for board members, welcome center staff and a guest each.

• Voted unanimously to help the Jonesville Friends of the Library group with postage up to $400 for a 300-letter fund drive campaign.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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