December 4, 2013

Waterville audit shows city in good financial shape

Fund balance is above the recommended minimum.

By AMY CALDER

Staff writer

WATERVILLE — The city is in good shape financially, an auditor told city councilors Tuesday.

Christian Smith of Macpage LLC, of South Portland, said the 2012-13 audit shows the city’s fund balance was $5.5 million on June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

A city policy states the fund balance should not go below 12 percent of total budget expenditures.

“You’re at about 16 percent, which is a favorable result,” Smith said.

The city’s approved municipal and school budget for 2012-13 was $36.9 million; the total expenditures were $35.4 million.

Auditors encountered no difficulties dealing with city management in performing and completing the audit and found no deficiencies in internal controls, according to Macpage officials. Also, no disagreements arose between auditors and management about financial accounting, reporting or auditing, they said.

City Finance Director Chuck Calkins said Wednesday that revenue was $380,000 higher than budgeted and expenses were $780,000 lower than budgeted. The school department was $400,000 under budget for expenses and the Public Works Department was $284,000 under budget, according to Calkins.

The budget called for using $1.6 million in fund balance, but the city used only $470,000, Calkins said.

“That helps strengthen our financial position,” he said.

Smith told councilors Tuesday that the city and school financial departments do an excellent job and are available to auditors.

“They’re well prepared for us; they make our jobs as easy as possible,” he said.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors voted to authorize City Manager Michael Roy to submit an application for tax-exempt bond financing to the Finance Authority of Maine on behalf of Inland Hospital, which is completing a $6 million improvement project.

The bond allows Inland to gain access to the tax-exempt market through the city and obtain lower interest debt financing for the project.

Councilors also voted 4–2 to sell 16 Veteran Court for $18,000, with net proceeds from the sale to be deposited in the South End Neighborhood Fund. Councilors Fred Stubbert, D-Ward 1, and Karen Rancourt-Thomas, D-Ward 7, opposed the sale. The city had obtained the property through nonpayment of taxes.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

acalder@centralmaine.com Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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