The District’s annual financial audit, completed in July, received the highest level of assurance for the 42nd straight year since its inception, demonstrating major growth across programs and facilities.
At the July board of directors’ meeting, the board was presented with the annual audit performed by independent auditor Maggard & Hood out of Glenwood Springs. During the presentation the District’s new finance manager Sanjok Timilsina, CPA, discussed all aspects of the District’s finances.
Timilsina comes to the District with years of experience auditing private and government agencies across Colorado under his belt during his time at McMahan & Associates in Avon. Having received his master’s in accounting from The University of Texas at Arlington, he received the Elijah Watt Sells Award in 2019, reserved for the top .01% of CPA candidates across the country.
“I couldn’t be happier to receive this news. The auditors performed a thorough assessment of our financials and by receiving the highest mark, we know our internal control system is operating effectively, as designed,” offered Timilsina. “We’re pleased to see the District is following sound financial practices,” continued Timilsina.
The 2021 audit report showed that the District continues to have no debt and its overall net position increased by 2.14% compared to 2020. Total revenues reported were $5.7 million came from programs, property taxes, and investments and expenditures were $5.4 million – the surplus funds were put into reserves for future capital and operating needs.
Total assets increased by $337,324 compared to 2020, with the largest expense coming from the new Eagle Sports Complex concessions and restroom building – all paid for with the District’s savings. With other facilities in need of major improvements, the District is currently assessing the cost to repair or replace the Eagle Pool and is saving funds for a $100,000 roof repair and a $1 million full turf replacement in the Edwards Field House in 2024.
Program revenues were up significantly in 2021 by $827,000, mostly due to a COVID-related district-wide closure in 2020. In 2020 the District also applied for and was granted an $87,000 reimbursement from the State for COVID-related expenses.
Property taxes saw a slight increase with more homeowners moving to the area, for a total of $44,000. The mill levy has stayed the same since 2003 at 3.650 mills.
Thanks to a new position added to the administration department, the District reported receiving more than $200,000 in private donations, state grants, and program and event sponsorships in 2021. These grants help lower expenses to keep services at an affordable rate and support the operating surplus.
During the board presentation, Executive Director Janet Bartnik made special note of the District’s significant increase in cost recovery compared to 2020. Across the country, subsidizing government recreation agencies like Mountain Rec is a common practice. The question is how much can agencies recover by the end of the year–the average being between 20-80% across the country.
“District-wide, Mountain Rec’s operating programs and services hover around 75-85% cost recovery. By policy, programs that serve the community are not expected to recover costs fully, whereas those programs benefiting individuals are priced higher to generate appropriate revenue. Recreation agencies that achieve 100% cost recovery may be reducing service levels or perhaps charging for services in a way that is not accessible to everyone in the community. Being a public agency is all about finding the sweet spot between setting reasonable program and facility fees to serve our community, but also charging enough to have sustainable operations,” said Bartnik.
“The Mountain Recreation staff and management should be commended for their ongoing business practices and continued excellence in financial reporting. They continue to provide outstanding services to the community while ensuring the taxpayers and supporters that assets will be safeguarded, while funding will be appropriately used to cover necessary expenditures,” said Joe Hood of Maggard & Hood. “The addition of Mr. Timilsina is an asset to the District which should continue their success,” continued Hood.”