County Notes 9/19/13

Housing rehab program gets more funds

More money will be available for a Washington County program that provides loans for county homeowners to rehabilitate homes through a contract amendment with a metro housing agency amended Tuesday by the Board of Commissioners.

The county’s agreement with the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp. (GMHC) adds $61,500 to almost $461,000 available through the program in 2011 and 2012.
The county and GMHC partnered in 2005 to help county homeowners with home improvements. Homeowners at or below 80 percent of the median income can receive deferred loans up to $18,000, with no interest and no monthly payments to finance projects. The loans come due when the home is sold or transferred or the borrower no longer occupies the home as a principal residence. The loans also can be repaid at any time.

From July 2005 through Aug. 31, 66 loans were completed and seven loans are in process. The additional money will pay three more loans. There are 67 households on the program’s waiting list.

County honored for finance reporting

The Government Financial Officers Association presented Washington County with a 27th straight Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the county’s 2011 comprehensive annual financial report at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

The GFOA award recognizes and encourages excellence in financial reporting by state and local governments. The award has a direct impact when bond rating agencies assess the county’s financial practices during the process to issue bonds.

The county’s consistent participation in the GFOA program demonstrates its commitment to quality financial management practices and open and clear communication with residents, county officials said.

Nationally, 16.4 percent of counties receive the GFOA financial report award, and Washington County is among the 14.9 percent of Minnesota counties receiving the award.
Commissioners also received the 2012 annual financial audit results, which showed the county’s fund balance increased during the past year. The county has approximately 5.6 months of expenditures in its fund balance, the report notes.

The report also said the county’s long-term obligations through general obligation bonds it has sold.

091913_CAFR awardWashington County Board Chairwoman Lisa Weik, middle, accepts the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the county’s 2011 comprehensive annual financial report during Tuesday’s board meeting, along with Accounting Supervisor Kathy Trombly-Ferrin, left, and Accounting and Finance Director Harley Will. (Submitted photo)