GREENWOOD, SC – The annual audit and capital projects at the Greenwood County Airport dominated the discussion at County Council’s Administration and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Council received an “unqualified” opinion on their annual audit by local accounting firm Elliot Davis. Laurie Smith, a CPA with the firm gave the county finances a clean bill of health in her presentation. She was joined at the meeting by Josh Garvin, the senior manager over the audit.
An unqualified opinion means that there were no discrepancies found during the audit. Smith commended the county staff for their cooperation during the audit. The county added $192,276 to the general fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30th, bringing the balance to $5,640,155. That number represents about three and a half months of operating expenses. The Government Finance Officers Association suggests between two and five months of reserves, according to Smith. Smith also noted that many counties and municipalities throughout the state are not able to maintain their fund balances, let alone add to them.
A runway rehabilitation project was also discussed at the meeting. Assistant county engineer Rossie Corwon told council that the airport would receive a $3 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, but would have to match that grant with about $154,000. Corwon asked council to determine whether or not they would subsidize the airport, which has run without funding from the county since 2005. The runway that would be rehabilitated is the same one on which the recent crash occurred.
Corwon also told council that the FAA had given a grant to the state to provide fencing at airports around the state. Greenwood County was moved up on the list and will receive $500,000 from the state for the fencing, of which 2.5% will be matched from the airport fund. Greenwood County was moved up as a result of the crash in which a plane struck a deer while landing, burning several acres of grass at the facility.