Audit shows BE funds all in good shape
At their last meeting the Blue Earth City Council received some good news about their finances for last year.
Laura Beckner, of Clifton-Larson-Allen, presented the 2018 city audit update during the work session portion of the July 1 meeting.
Overall the city is in good financial shape, the auditor reported.
She started with the general fund and said that both revenues and expenses were up in the general fund from the previous year.
The revenues were at $3.4 million, with expenditures just over $4 million. However, when other financing sources were added in, the general fund balance still increased by $84,986.
The total governmental fund balance increased from $7 million to $7.5 million, when everything was tallied up. This includes the general fund as well as others, such as airport and the EDA.
The city also operates several proprietory (business-type) ventures which are counted separately in the audit report. Those include the sewer fund, liquor store fund and fitness center fund.
The sewer fund showed revenues of $1.18 million, with a net increase in funds (profit) of $330,323. The total in the fund at the end of the year was $5.4 million.
The liquor store fund had income of $1.6 million, with a net increase in the bottom line of a negative $230,000. However, this negative came after $320,000 had been transferred out of the fund for other purposes.
The gross net margin was still at 26 percent, which is considered very good, the auditor said.
The total balance in the liquor store fund at the end of 2018 was still at $827,924, but was down from $1 million at the end of 2017.
As far as the fitness center, the revenues were $217,771 in 2018. After expenses, the net fund increase (profit) was $65,230, bringing that fund balance up to $622,175 at the end of last year.
That amount would be enough to pay off the bond that was the funding method for the recent addition and improvements, if the council so desired to do so.
Totaled up, the proprietary funds together had just over $3 million in income and had a net increase in fund balances of $165,458, leaving the total fund balance at $6.9 million at the end of 2018.
The city’s other part of the audit is the debt service fund. That fund showed revenues (mainly from property taxes and special assessments) of $1.27 million and expenditures of $1.31 million.
However, with other financing sources added in, the fund still saw an increase in balance of $417,430. There was a total of $2.7 million in the fund at the end of 2018.
During the regular meeting after the work session, the council did vote to accept the 2018 audit as presented.
“This was our second year with this auditor, Clifton-Larson-Allen, and with Echo (Roggenkamp) working with them,” said city administrator Tim Ibisch. “We were pleased with how things went and that our fund balances were all up in all the funds. That is a testament to the city’s being fiscally responsible. It is good to have a cushion in place in case of an economic downturn. The council has a goal to not have to dramatically raise the tax levy in the future.”