Plain City receives good audit report

Jan 15 2012 - 9:17pm

PLAIN CITY -- The annual audit of city finances provided the best rating a city can get, according to Lynn Wood of Wood Richards & Associates.

Wood said Plain City has good controls and procedures.

He also noted that the budget had to be opened up several times during the fiscal year with approximately $300,000 in adjustments, and the city still got the revenue within approximately $30,000 of expenditures.

"My compliments to Steve (Davis, treasurer) and Diane (Hirschi, city recorder)," Wood said.

Wood said there is $189,485 in unrestricted funds, which, at 9 percent of a year's budget, is within the state's prescribed limits. The sewer fund has $831,560, so Wood recommended the city discuss depreciation and the condition of the sewer system with the city engineer and public works department to see if the revenue and reserve will be adequate for future needs.

"(When) the building boom went bust, it affected Plain City dramatically," Wood said. "Is there enough in the sewer fund for your future?"

Wood also recommended the city complete its personnel policy and procedures and define what is a full-time employee.

Wood said he researched the city's financial history over the past 10 years.

For several years the city was able to put several hundred thousand dollars into the capital projects fund annually, he said, but in 2007-08, the building boom came crashing down.

"I think basically you've come to a break point where things are fairly tight out here," said Wood. "Basically, your revenues have only increased about 82 percent over the last 10 years, and your expenditures are up by 150 percent."

He said the increase is largely the result of increased costs of public safety.

Wood also said the city issued only one-third the building permits last year compared to 10 years ago.

"You have a nice mix of revenues, not depending on one individual strain," said Wood.

He also said the city should look at restructuring sewer and garbage fees to make sure it is getting all administrative costs into the budget.

Council members unanimously approved the audit report.

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