City has grown its general fund balance in 8 of the last 10 years
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Sheryl Medders with McKinley Cooper and Co., LLC, presented the city’s annual audit report. The city received a clean or unmodified opinion, which is the best result to receive in an audit. Medders stated that the city is doing well in collecting revenues and controlling expenses, as both the government activities funds, consisting of the general fund, the hospitality tax fund, and other smaller funds, as well as the business-type activities funds, consisting of the utility and solid waste funds, showed an overall increase in net position both for fiscal year 2020 and 2021. In fact, she stated the city has grown its general fund balance in 8 of the last 10 years.
Medders stated the general fund has 10 months of operating expenditures in its balance, which is up from last year, when the city had 8 months of operating funds. She said cities should have a minimum of 6 months of operating funds on hand, so the general fund balance is healthy. She said the revenues were slightly over budget, which she attributed to increased collections for the local option sales tax and licenses, permits, and fees. She also said expenses came in under budget, with decreases in general government activities, the Public Safety Department, and Public Service Department. She said the decrease in expenses for the Public Safety Department came because of fewer events being held due to the pandemic, so there was a lower cost for providing security for such events. She also said there was a decrease in worker’s compensation and fewer claims, as well. She said the Public Service Department didn’t have as many expenses for repairs and maintenance of equipment.
Medders said the utility fund is healthy, as well, with around $25 million on hand to fund current operations. With a little more than $2.3 million needed per month, she said the utility fund has around 10.5 months of operating funds in its balance, which is up slightly from last year, when it had 9.5 months of funds. The year before that, she noted 9 months of funds in the balance. She stated the solid waste fund is not nearly as strong.