Morenci receives good audit report 12.01.2010

Written 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.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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