Town of Spruce Pine hears annual audit report
SPRUCE PINE – The Spruce Pine Town Council at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 26, received its annual audit report from Combs, Tennant and Carpenter Certified Public Accountants, received department updates and unanimously approved a decision to contribute $500 to the annual Shop With a Cop event.
Jason Carpenter of Combs, Tennant and Carpenter CPA presented the audit report to the council. Carpenter said the town’s net position, which is a full accrual statement that adds up all total assets and subtracts liability, comes out to $21,086,000.
“It’s a very healthy net position compared to towns around the high country,” he said.
Carpenter said the town’s general fund balance sits at $3,012,000, of which 2.8 percent remains unassigned.
“That’s about as healthy a fund balance as I see around here,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter added the town’s tax collection percentage is up from the previous audit.
“The audit went really well,” Carpenter said. “The financials are in good shape, and you have a great staff.”
Spruce Pine Police Chief Bill Summerlin said he plans to name the 19E bypass bridge after North Carolina State Trooper and Mitchell County resident Brandon Peterson, who died last year.
Summerlin said the naming of the bridge would mean a lot to Brandon’s wife, Ella, and their daughter, LeeAnna.
“I’m basically doing it for his little girl,” Summerlin said. “That’ll always be her daddy’s bridge.”
The council unanimously approved a decision to allow Summerlin to begin filing the necessary paperwork. He said the process is lengthy.
Summerlin also expressed the need for a part-time employee at the Spruce Pine Police Department.
Summerlin said during the peak hours between noon and 3 p.m., having a dedicated person at the department’s front desk could allow more people to get information.
“People come in for basic information or to speak to an officer,” Summerlin said. “It’s probably best to at least have someone down there during peak hours.”
Summerlin said the need for a front desk worker is mostly a product of citizen complaints. If the position is established, it would be a Monday through Friday job that offers about 18 hours per week.
The council said it would consider Summerlin’s request and revisit it.
Spruce Pine Main Street Executive Director Libby Phillips said during her department update the turnout for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24 in Spruce Pine was “very good,” adding the majority of merchants reported great days.
Phillips also said renovations to the McCall’s building are moving rapidly.
Investor Todd Leoni, who also owns the Bank of America building, now known as the Bank Art building, recently closed on the Spruce Pine Motel, Phillips said. Leoni plans to renovate the motel and is looking to lease or sell the building.
Phillips said six potential investors had shown interest in the old Mayland Printing building on Oak Avenue. She said of those investors about three or four of them are serious.
Phillips said there had been some showings of the old Tokyo building on Upper Street, but there is no activity beyond that at this time.