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ABC system tops $9 million in yearly sales for first time

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
The Rowan/Kannapolis ABC system topped $9 million in sales for the first time in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
That’s according to an audit provided members of the ABC board on Wednesday during their monthly meeting. The report was presented by Sam Leder, a certified public accountant with Potter & Co., a CPA firm in Concord.
Leder said the system was in sound shape financially, noting, “Our sales were up pretty significantly.”
While end-of-year assets were down about $38,000 from the 2008 audit, Leder said that stemmed largely from a significant increase in profit distributions to Rowan County and its municipalities.
Profit distributions to the county and those municipalities was increased from $25,000 in fiscal year 2007-2008 to $281,000 this past fiscal year. Current end-of-year assets totaled $1,820,564 compared to $1,858,157 from a year earlier.
Operating revenue from the previous year was $9.3 million compared to $8.5 million in fiscal year 2007-2008. Leder gave board members a synopsis of the 25-page audit at Wednesday’s meeting.
“New heights were accomplished in the past year with overall sales eclipsing the $9 million mark for the first time in our history,” Terry Osborne, the system’s general manager, wrote in a report that accompanied the audit. “These sales enabled us to continue to pay down our debt to the $140,000 range, as well as continue on our schedule to return profits to the county and its municipalities. This fiscal year saw our board turn over $281,000, which marks a significant turnaround in our overall success of achieving our stated goals only a few years ago.”
Leder noted that the system has working capital of $770,860. That is the total of the cash inventory subtracting liabilities. The minimum working capital allowed by the state is $285,852. The maximum is more than $2.48 million. The capital in the Rowan/Kannapolis system resulted in praise from board members.
A copy of the audit will be forwarded to Rowan County commissioners. Commissioner Tina Hall, a liaison between the commissioners and ABC board members attended Wednesday’s meeting but didn’t comment on the audit.
Leder recommended board members be sure that someone is vigilant when it comes to overseeing the day-to-day financial operation of the system, including double-checking every check that is written.
“Trust everybody, but verify often,” Leder said. “Verifying bank statements doesn’t take that long.”
In another matter handled at Wednesday’s meeting, board members:
– Failed to second a motion by Linda Lowman, board chairman, to dissolve the position of Roy Purvis, an ABC law enforcement officer employed by the system.
“I just don’t think we need it,” Lowman said of the position.
Marny Hendrick and Ken Argo, the other board members at the meeting, said they were surprised that Lowman made such a motion without first discussing the job Purvis does.
Osborne said Purvis has authority to make arrests and perform other legal actions at any ABC store. He said other police officers can’t act outside the areas of their jurisdictions. Osborne said Purvis does assorted other jobs related to the ABC system.
Hendrick also defended the work of Purvis, and said he was surprised that Lowman made the motion she did.
“I am at a loss as to what he does,” Lowman replied.
“Well, go spend some time with him,” Hendrick said.
Lowman said Purvis had wanted to speak to her, but she refused, noting, “I don’t want to be influenced.”
Argo agreed that the motion by Lowman came as a surprise to him.
“I don’t have enough knowledge to discuss, much less vote on (the elimination of Purvis’ job),” Argo said.
Lowman eventually rescinded her motion, replacing it with a motion to study the possibility of reducing the number of ABC law-enforcement officers, thus saving the system money. Lowman and Osborne will conduct the study. “I just want to make sure we’re not going on a witch hunt,” Hendrick said. “You made a motion to do away with it without knowing about it.”
“I think I do know,” Lowman replied.

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