Airport board hangared
Saratoga Airport board holds final meeting, deals with financial questions and enterprise fund deficit
May 15, 2019
Following their dissolution by the Saratoga Town Council, the members of the Saratoga Airport Board held their final meeting on May 8 to take care of unfinished business before the appointment of the Saratoga Airport Advisory Board. Financials, however, proved to be difficult to close the books on as the board did not have a proper financial report and had questions about the town audit. Suzie Cox, Saratoga Town Clerk, was at court and, so, was unable to provide a financial report or answers to the board’s questions.
The biggest concern for the former airport board was that the recently released audit for Fiscal Year 2017/2018, reported a significant deficit in the airport enterprise fund. On page 24 of the document, the enterprise fund for the airport is shown to have a deficit of $221,679. All fund balances, under Wyoming State Statute, are required to maintain a positive balance.
“We need to wrap this and leave and endgame and, certainly, if there was a deficit and there’s still a deficit, that’s on our watch. So, we do need to get to the bottom of it,” said Ellie Dana, a former member of the airport board.
Both Kim Lorenzen, who previously served on the airport board and had been the fixed base operator at Shively Field, and Lance Grubb stated that they had never seen a deficit in the airport fund. With the board effectively dissolved by the town council, Grubb was unsure what steps the former board members could take to address the reported deficit as well as the missing financial report for the first quarter of 2019.
“I would say, as far as board business, absolutely … I think you should continue to request the information from Suzie for quarter one, but if we’re really trying to focus on what was done in Fiscal Year 17/18 and what was reflected in the audit, the auditors are going to be here on May 20 to answer questions and I know that there are other boards that are concerned about their enterprise accounts,” Jon Nelson, council member and airport board representative, told the former board members.
“The question is; we never saw anything that would suggest there was a negative balance. I mean, it’s a really big question. How could we end up with $221,000 in deficit when we didn’t run the business that way. Number one, it’s illegal according to Wyoming and, number two, the FAA absolutely does not allow that,” Dana said.
As part of their requirement to finish airport board business, the former members approved Dana to draft a letter to Cox requesting the financials for the first quarter of 2019.
This being the final meeting of the airport board, there is no scheduled time or date for another meeting. The first meeting of the airport advisory board is not known at this time as appointments have not yet been made.
Check upcoming Saratoga Town Council articles for updates.