Morenci receives good audit report 12.01.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council heard nothing but positive news from the annual audit presented Nov. 22.

CPA Philip Rubley told council that, as of June 30, 2010, city finances were in the best shape in many years.

“It’s probably the best position I’ve seen the city in in a long, long time,” he said. “This is a very good report.”

Revenue dropped, but expenses also went down in nearly every category. Expenses were held to within $6,000 of the previous year, Rubley said. He added that this was the closest he’s ever seen the city in regard to anticipated and actual spending.

The city’s general fund stood with a fund equity of $267,212, boosted by an excess of $112,342 from the past fiscal years.

“That’s the good news of the night,” Rubley said. “The last two years you’ve taken your fund equity position—which I thought was compromised and in jeopardy—and brought it up to a strong position.”

The auditor recommends savings equal to three months of operating expenses to cover unexpected financial challenges, and the city is close to that.

Rubley told council this is the closest he’s ever seen proposed expenditures match up with actual spending, through almost every category. Revenue dropped by about $14,000, but less money was expected and budgeted accordingly.

The budget called for a year-end fund balance of $219,000, but ended $47,296 better.

“This is really very good,” Rubley said.

But did you do the things that you needed to do with the resources available? That’s the key to success, he said. It’s easy to have an excess if needs are not taken care of.

STREETS—The local street fund generally never has enough money, Rubley said, but Morenci’s look strong. The major street fund is also in a strong position.

FIRE—The department benefitted from $92,530 in grants and shows an equity of $28,012 for equipment purchases.

EMS—There have been problems in that fund, but it’s really improved substantially and appears to be on track.

The key is to successfully collect receipts from third parties. The administration needs to keep on top of the issue.

At the end of the fiscal year, the EMS showed an excess of $97,542, based on what was billed.

“This is the best position I’ve seen since it started,” Rubley said.

It’s very good, he said, with caution.

UTILITIES—Utility funds often show a deficit, he said, but there’s an equity of $109,000.

“These costs are under control and your revenue stream is good,” Rubley said. “I think you’re sitting in very good shape. To be in the positive is extraordinary.”

Rubley also praised the city’s accounting system as operating well.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington welcomed the good news, but he reminded council that it’s for the past year. New expenses are coming and some revenue streams might go down, so council will need to remain cautious  and vigilant despite the healthy fund equity.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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