Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Audit shows City is solid

DSC 0002The City of Minden's finances remain solid, and local auditors Jamieson, Wise and Martin found no instances of noncompliance under Government Auditing Standards.

Kristine Cole, Certified Public Accountant with the firm, recently took members of the Minden City Council through the financial highlights of her audit report.

The city's net assets decreased during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012 by 2.8 percent. Total net assets decreased by approximately $1.6 million, from $57.1 million to $55.5 million.

During the year, the city had total revenues of $29.1 million compared to $28.8 million last year, an increase of one percent.

"The overall increase (in revenues) is largely attributed to an increase in the amount of sales taxes received, compared to last year," Cole said.

City Clerk Michael Fluhr said when the 2011-2012 fiscal budget was made, he was "cautiously optimistic" on the sales tax revenue increase.

By the end of the fiscal year, according to reports, sales tax revenues in 2012 were at the highest point in four years.

"There is a spike," Cole said. "Sales tax revenues are clearly a large portion of the city's governmental-type revenues."

Total expenses for the year were $30.7 million, compared to $31.9 million in the prior year, a decrease of 3.5 percent.

"Last year (ending fiscal year, 2011) the city incurred large expenses for a street overlay project that they didn't have this fiscal year," Cole said.

Public safety expenditures were up more this year than previous years.

"That is the police department and includes equipment – like the computers in cars – training and things along those lines," Fluhr said.

Revenue collected from electricity bills was down slightly.

"We've had no electricity rate increase," Fluhr pointed out. "So those charges are more or less unchanged."

Water charges were up, due to a slight rate increase, he said.

"But water is paying for itself," he said. "And water usage was down somewhat last year."

Revenue from sewer charges was down slightly.

"Overall, they were comparable to last year," Cole said. "The total cost to operate the utility system decreased from $18.1 million to $17.7 million."

She said the utility system and related business-type activities reported revenues in excess of its expense of around $1.39 million.






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