SYRACUSE -- The city's financial picture continues to improve, a recent audit suggests.
An audit for the 2010-11 fiscal year, released Tuesday, shows the city has increased its fund balance for the third straight year, and the city shows $1.4 million more in assets than liabilities.
The city's fund balance for the year ending June 30, 2011, is at 14.2 percent, an increase of several percentage points from last year and not far from the state's limit of 18 percent.
The audit, done by the firm of Wood Richards and Associates P.C. of Ogden, did include several small findings, but auditors said those were not unusual or out of order.
"All in all, the financial condition of the city looks like it's improved," Roger Child, of the auditing firm, said of the report.
His assessment was well received.
"That's pretty darn good news," Mayor Jamie Nagle said.
Specifically, the audit included the following findings:
* The city's total debt decreased by $794,000 during the year on outstanding bonds.
* A fund balance of $2.09 million is shown on the books, with approximately 61 percent of that balance considered unrestricted and available for spending either at the city's discretion or upon council approval.
* Impact fees and revenues from building permits have gone down significantly while sales tax collection has increased. Sales tax revenue increased by 5 percent last year, or $122,626 more than the previous year.
* Most city departments were under budget. General government was under budget by $81,660, while public safety was under budget by $32,725; public works was under by $440,252; and parks and recreation was under budget by $28,176.
* As of June 30, 2011, the city books show assets of $3.6 million, compared to $2.2 million in liabilities.