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Report: Soldotna’s finances in good shape

Posted: December 15, 2011 - 6:07pm

The city of Soldotna has been recognized for its financial reporting.
The city received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting as part of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2010, which was released to the public at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
An audit of the city’s finances by Mikunda, Cottrell & Co. Inc., an Anchorage-based accounting and consulting firm, showed the city is in very good financial standing.
“Every department performed under budget in 2011,” Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche said. “There was not one single negative finding.”
With departments coming in under budget, the city is able to  successfully decrease budgets.
“We’ve managed to reduce our budgets — which is the opposite of most municipalities across the country,” Micciche said. “In the past two years, we’ve reduced the general fund expenditures by 10.6 percent after transfers and 2.6 percent before transfers.”
In the same amount of time, Micciche said, the operating funds expenditures are down 13.6 percent.
“Ultimately it’s a pretty significant success story,” he said. “I think across the board it’s a testament to the financial management of the city, (city manager) Larry Semmens, (finance director) Melanie Lewis — and the Mayor/Council has had their eye on keeping costs down on the city.”
Micciche said the decrease in the budget has been due to every department only purchasing the necessities.
“What we’ve done is not added positions — we’ve stayed status quo on budgeting,” Micciche said. “We’ve reduced where we could and challenged department heads to ask for what they need instead of what would be nice to have.
“Every department head has accepted the challenge.”
During the meeting, the council accepted a grant from the State of Alaska for $16,700 for the general fund for the Alaska Safe Routes to School Program. The program, Micciche said, will help determine  gaps to safe routes to school in addition to other phases as the program matures.
“It also has additional phases that comes with the engineering to solve those problems,” Micciche said.
The funding included in some of the phases will help improve infrastructure that are obstacles for safe travel in the city, Micciche said.
Some of the highlights, as outlined in the report show:

  • Soldotna’s assets exceeded liabilities on June 30 by $101,693,348 (net assets). Of that amount, $27,975,674 may be used to meet ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors. The city’s total net assets increased by $2,489,888 in FY2011.
  • At the close of the current fiscal year, the city’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $31,264,029 which is an increase of $3,714,113 from the prior year.

In other council business:

  • The council passed an ordinance increasing estimated revenue and appropriations by $32,082 in the General Fund and $58,331 in the Debt Service Fund for Debt Service on the Library Expansion General Obligation Bonds.

The next Soldotna City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

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