Postlethwaite & Netterville has submitted an unmodified opinion for BREC’s 2018 financial statements, the cleanest rating an agency can receive, the parks and recreation agency announced this morning.
The audit hasn’t been finalized yet by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, but BREC says the report shows increased revenues and decreased spending when compared to 2017. Postlethwaite & Netterville noted no material weaknesses by the agency, but reported two audit findings: One finding was regarding inventory counts of resale items, which were not conducted as stated by BREC’s policy. The agency says it plans to re-evaluate its inventory policy.
The second finding calls for written policies and procedures for managing federal grants. BREC recently won a federal grant for its $3.7 million bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting downtown to north Baton Rouge.
There were also four instances of misappropriation of public assets noted in the audit. All four instances were identified through BREC’s internal processes, BREC says, and reported to authorities. The agency is working to improve all of its internal processes, including cash handling procedures and overall financial reporting methods, says BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson.
A summary of the preliminary report, which was presented to BREC’s Finance Committee Tuesday night, will be presented at BREC’s commission meeting Thursday evening.
The clean bill of financial health comes as the agency works to fund its new Airline Highway Community Park, as well as considers eliminating the Dumas Memorial golf course because of its low performance and high maintenance costs.
In February, BREC OK’d selling two of its vacant Baton Rouge properties for a combined $4 million to pay for the first phase of redevelopment for Airline Highway Park, which BREC selected as the site of its next community park shortly after voting to keep the Baton Rouge Zoo in its current location.
Two months ago, BREC unveiled its proposal to eliminate the Dumas Memorial golf course as part of the Greenwood Park-Baton Rouge zoo master plan. The 18-hole course saw just 12,134 rounds played last year and needed taxpayer subsidies of nearly $500,000.