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Evidence of state slump apparent in CWC audit

Jan 11, 2018 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Impacts of the state energy downturn and subsequent revenue shortfall were apparent in the most recent audit of Central Wyoming College.

The report submitted late last year by Wayne Herr of the auditing firm McGee, Hearne & Paiz LLP included several references to decreases in state funding, property tax revenues, and expenses for salaries and benefits at the school.

Capital assets

The value of CWC's capital assets also fell by about $950,000 due to depreciation, Herr said.

That decrease came despite a $3.5 million increase in CWC's total depreciable capital assets as a result of the completion of the Rustler Central remodel in Riverton.

"(The) depreciation expense for 2017 exceeded capital asset additions," Herr's report states.

Meanwhile, current assets were down almost $270,000 for the year ended June 30, 2017, related to a decrease in receivable property taxes.

Local tax income was down by about $1.35 million, according to Herr's report.

Revenues

Even though tuition was raised 5 percent in 2017, Herr's report said overall operating revenues at CWC were down due to an almost 10 percent decrease in full-time enrollments for the fiscal year. Operating income from federal grants and contracts at CWC also were down, by more than $300,000.

Operating expenses fell, however; Herr said the "substantial decrease" in fiscal year 2017 was due to the reduction in workforce required because of decreased state appropriation funding.

Non-operating revenues from state appropriations decreased in fiscal year 2017 by more than $3.5 million, Herr said. As a result, fewer people were employed at CWC in 2017 than at any time in at least a decade, according to previous reports; administrators said the turnover amounted to 22 percent of the college's workforce in 2016.

The smaller workforce did result in a decrease in expenses for salaries and benefits, however. Partly as a result of that decrease, Herr said CWC's equity was up $1.1 million.

"Good, bad or indifferent, the biggest impact on your expenses has been payroll and benefits," Herr said in his November presentation to the CWC Board of Trustees.

Net investment income also fell 2016-2017, Herr's report said. The change was mostly due to a fall in the market value of investments held by others, but Herr said a decrease in tax collections in Fremont County and the reduced funding from the state due to the downturn in mineral royalty income also contributed.

Passing grade

CWC's audit resulted in an "unmodified" opinion from Herr's agency.

"Things are pretty consistent," he said.

No material weaknesses were identified, no significant deficiencies were reported, and no noncompliance material to financial statements was noted when the company inspected CWC's internal controls, according to Herr's report; there also were no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies related to internal controls over major federal programs.

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