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Ho-hum...another clean bill of health for Port of Sunnyside

Each year, the Washington State Auditor's Office combs through the finances of the Port of Sunnyside, which has kept clean records for several years.

The most recent audit for 2010 was much the same. The Port of Sunnyside received a clean bill of health for its financial records once again.

Port of Sunnyside Finance Director Carol Carter said, "We are audited by the State Auditor's Office each year in order to ensure that we have followed all of the laws of the State of Washington as well as the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) regulations and standards."

She said the auditor's office reviewed accounting practices in the areas of billing, accounts payable, payroll, internal controls and general ledger.

The 31-page report detailed figures from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010, showing the port ended the year with its assets exceeding its liabilities by 45 percent ($13,232,310).

The Port of Sunnyside's case and investment balance was more than $5 million, down approximately $2.45 million from the previous year. However, the funds exceed the port's operating expenses by 143 percent.

Projects completed in 2010 account for the decrease in the cash balance.

Overall, the Port of Sunnyside increased its assets by $867,400 in 2010.

"The overall financial condition of the Port District remains strong at the end of 2010," the auditor's office noted.

Carter said there are three reporting levels. They include "a finding," "a management letter" and an "exit item."

"A finding formally addresses an issue in the audit report, a management letter communicates a less significant instance of non-compliance and an exit item is far less serious audit issues, which are informally communicated," said Carter.

She said the Port of Sunnyside has never received "a finding." It has been in existence since 1964.

The Port of Sunnyside also increased its assets due in part to capital contribution grants used for infrastructure improvements at its business and industrial property, according to the auditor's office.

Long-term debts, including bond payments, account for 97 percent of the port's liabilities, but the net assets increased 213 percent ($461,300).

Of the assets more than $22 million are capital assets (land, buildings, equipment).

The debts owed by the port amount to $15,451,388.

Utility billing, property taxes and rental income in 2010 accounted for $4.8 million in revenue.

"The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under government auditing standards," said officials with the state auditor's office.

Carter said, "We are pleased with the outcome of the 2010 state audit and we will strive to continue to keep our clean record."

She said the results reflect the efforts of the Port of Sunnyside's commissioners, director and employees.

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