SYRACUSE -- The city's financial picture continues to stabilize, an audit for fiscal year 2011-2012 suggests.
The recently released audit shows the city posted a fund balance for the fourth straight year, very close to the state-allowed percentage. The city's fund balance for the year, ending June 30, 2012, is at 17.1 percent, an increase of several percentage points from last year and not far from the state's limit of 18 percent.
The city has a combined fund balance of $4.032 million from all accounts, the audit says. Of that amount, $1.3 million is unassigned.
The audit also shows the city's debt load increased by $533,970 during the past year, which included more than $1.1 million for the purchase of the community's street lighting system.
Other major debt expenditures included the new leasing program for police vehicles and a new 10-wheel plow truck.
Ironically, while debt went, up the city was also able to make $823,000 in principal reduction payments on outstanding bonds.
Ryan Child of Wood-
Richards, the firm that reviewed city books, said auditors found no major difficulties during the review and only found one journal entry that needed to be corrected, which he termed as unusual.
Mayor Jamie Nagle praised city Finance Director Stephen Marshall for his work and ongoing efforts.
"This is the first time we've ever had no findings. Well done, you've done a great job," Nagle said.
Other facts outlined in the audit include:
* City assets exceeded liabilities as of June 30 by $93.6 million. City assets actually increased by $1.38 million during the fiscal year in comparison to the year before. The increase is linked to infrastructure improvements in the city.
* Sales revenue increased during the fiscal year by $82,483 over the previous year.
* City impact fees related to new development decreased $111,137 compared to 2010-2011.
* Spending at the city level did not fluctuate significantly. The city spent $101,747 more, and that increase was linked to the costs of providing health insurance and benefits to city employees.
* Contributions from developers during the fiscal year, including streets, sidewalks and curb and gutter, totaled $421,969.