City of Rockford’s Year-End Finances

Cuts have allowed City to maintain strong fund balance

January 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

Audit ‘not what you are seeing in a majority of municipalities’ by BETH ALTENA The results of the audit for the City of Rockford’s year-end finances as of June 30, 2011 were reported at the Rockford City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. According to Peter Haefner, who presented the report, the results are “not what you are seeing in a majority of municipalities.” Haefner, of Vredeveld Haefner, LLC, had good news regarding the City’s financial condition. “You have been able to cut a lot of costs to maintain a strong fund balance. That’s positive,” Haefner stated. According to the audit, financial highlights of the City of Rockford’s year ending in June 2011 included seven items of significance: purchase of a $160,000 plow truck; upgrading of financial software to BSA.Net version; purchase of two new 4×4 pickup trucks and plows; the lease of three new public safety vehicles, upgrading of radio capabilities and replacement of bulletproof vests for the police department; the receipt of a grant to replace an aging emergency warning siren; receiving a grant to complete the Rogue River Nature Trail in the 2011-12 budget year; and the upgrade of lighting fixtures throughout all municipal buildings with a Consumers Energy grant program. The financial statement regarding City finances is divided into three components: a government-wide statement, fund financial statements, and notes on financial statements. Government-wide statements, according to the audit, are designed to “provide a broad overview of the City’s finances. Comparing a City’s assets and liabilities and the changes between the two serve as a useful indicator of the financial position of the City is improving or deteriorating.” In the case of Rockford, assets for the year exceeded liabilities by $15,326,439 at the close of the most recent fiscal year. Verdeveld Haefner’s audit showed an increase in the assets of both the governmental and business-type activities of the City compared to the previous year. It attributes the increase in assets in business-type activities as the result of lower expenses in both water and sewer operations. The governmental activities increase is the result of budgeted cost savings measures to offset decreasing revenues in state-shared revenues, along with significant amounts of capital additions. “During the year, the City invested $1,639,137 or 49 percent of […]