NRoute needs plan for delay of funds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2014

An NRoute bus

An NRoute bus

An infusion of cash from the City of Vicksburg has helped NRoute maintain a positive cash balance and remain in the black for July, the transit system’s Board of Commissioners learned.
According to the system’s balance sheet for July, its net income, which does not include the city money, totaled $23,963.91 through Wednesday.
“There’s about $24,000 in the bank, and that’s pretty good where we’re sitting right now,” Nathan Cummins of May & Co., NRoute’s accountants, told the commissioners Wednesday.
He said NRoute is expected to receive reimbursements for several June expenses from the Mississippi Department of Transportation besides the federal transportation grant funds distributed by the state.
“Overall, we’re looking pretty good on the balance sheets — kind of holding to our projections we made in May (of ending the year in the black),” he said. According to NRoute’s profit and loss statement, which covered the period from Oct. 1 through Wednesday, showed the transit system with a positive net income $23,879.55 through Wednesday.
NRoute receives a city supplement of $200,000 a year, which is released in monthly installments. The city advanced NRoute’s supplemental payments for August and September, totaling $33,333, at the request of the commissioners, who were concerned the bus system may lose money while the state converted to a new accounting system that went into effect July 1.
The advanced city funds were placed in a deferred revenue account, and will be released as needed, Cummins said.
The commissioners in May authorized Bumpers to request the money in anticipation of possibly losing state funds during the conversion.
According to a letter from MDOT sent in April, state officials were projecting a possible delay in funds going to vendors and agencies of about 2 to 3 months, during the conversion to the new statewide payment system called Mississippi’s Accountability System for Government Information and Collaboration, or MAGIC.
The letter recommended NRoute and other state funds recipients to develop a contingency plan to cover operations if the funds are delayed.
• In other action, the board learned the ridership through Wednesday was down by 332 riders compared with the same period in fiscal 2013, 36,226 to 36,558. Revenue from fares and contracts with Warren-Yazoo Mental Health and MIDD-West Industries totaled $90,893.58 through Wednesday compared with $60,211.59 for the same period in 2013.

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About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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