By DAVID GREEN
Accountant Philip Rubley gave Morenci city council a positive report on city finances last month when he presented the annual city audit. Rubley was pleased with the city's accounting practices and also with the city's improving finances.
"It's a pretty good report," Rubley said. "There's nothing I'm overly concerned about. The City reduced debt by over $339,000 last year which is very, very good, and your equity position continues to go up."
For the year ending June 30, 2012, Rubley noted that the general fund had a deficit of $144,391 that was easily covered by the carryover from the previous year, leaving the fund balance at $162,023. He would like to see the fund balance move back over the $300,000 mark.
The deficit was incurred from the parking lot project, he said, that required a 22 percent local match to go along with the federal grant. The project also reduced the carryover in the local streets fund to under $1,000.
The money is there to spend on local street projects, Rubley said, but council needs to remain aware of the balance and work to transfer in funds from the major street fund as allowed by law.
Rubley cautioned council to watch the EMS funding since the fund balance dropped by $40,000. He said to remain aware of the EMS account in regard to how much of the expenses can be controlled and how much is lost in uncollected revenue.
The Town and Country Festival fund showed a debt of $1,601, but city treasurer Crystal White explained that funding came in after the audit was performed and there's actually nearly $7,000 saved in the account.
Rubley said the city's new accounting software will give an accurate look at expenses throughout the year. He reminded council that budget adjustments can be made after it's approved and the budget can even be increased as along as it doesn't put the city into a deficit position.
PLANNERS—Lowell Oberhaus was appointed to the planning commission, but additional members are still needed. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact city hall.
RADIOS—Council approved the purchase of narrow-band radios for the police department and Morenci Area EMS.
REHAB—Council continued discussion about a Community Rehabilitation District. Councilor Brenda Spiess suggested using the existing Downtown Development Area (DDA) boundaries. If council decides to include any aesthetic principles for future remodeling or constructions, Spiess said, everyone within the DDA should first be notified in the letter that will be sent about the proposal.
Council will review aesthetic details in effect in other communities for ideas to consider.
SALISBURY BUILDING—During a discussion about the Economic Development Corporation's offer to sell the former M&S Manufacturing building to the city, Spiess said she was favoring the option, but wants to know more about environmental issues that could effect the future use of the property.