City gets good audit report

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 5/3/00.

All of the city's funds had a good year, according to Loren Viere, of Kern, DeWenter, Viere, Ltd, city auditor. Viere presented the Paynesville City Council their audit report at their Wednesday night meeting.

Mayor Jeff Thompson was quitr happy with the audit. "I was happy with how the city performed. Most of our accounts are in the black," he said. "The audit results were about the same as last year."

The city ended the year with a $1,516,930 fund balance. According to Viere, the balance could cover expenses for 22 months. "An excellent amount for the account," he added.

Sources of the city revenues are: Intergovernmental funds account for 39.61 percent or $479,917. These are funds from the state, school district, and county; property taxes account for 35.94 percent of the cities income or $436,002; licenses and permits account for 8.70 percent or $105,390; charges for services totaled $99,993 or 8.25 percent of the revenue; miscellaneous income totaled $78,342 or 6.46 percent; and fines (traffic tickets) accounted for $12,165 or one percent of the revenue.

The general fund expenditures decreased by 4.8 percent in 1999, going from $897,506 to $854,573.

The city ended the year with a small surplus in the revenue over expenditures account, $31,340.

Thompson said the city likes to keep the budget close. "Like the state, we have a budget surplus, but we don't like to carry the amount over. We'll make adjustments in the budget," he added.

An area that affects the city's calculations is interest rates on their investments. "We try to play things close but it is hard to predict what the interest rates will do to our investments each year," Thompson said.

This year the city earned $71,210 in investment income compared to $43,765 last year.

The Municipal Liquor Store Fund saw sales increase by 11.8 percent from 1998 to 1999. The gross profit has remained fairly consistent over the past five years, decreasing only slightly each year.

The water fund increased revenue 8.9 percent or $287,454 while the expenses increased only 3.5 percent. This account receives the funds from city's water billing.

According to the auditor, the sewer fund ended the year with a net loss of $11,937, the only fund with a deficit. Due to the nature of the sewer fund's assets, it is often difficult to establish rates that are sufficient to cover replacement of assets. The sewer fund does have an income when depreciation expenses are not considered.

The auditors recommended the city review water and sewer rates annually to determine if the charges will be sufficient to produce an income.

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