UNION — It’s practice of obtaining loans at the best interest rates possible together with successfully seeking out and obtaining grants enabled the City of Union to address its capital and other needs in fiscal 2015-2016 without raising taxes or most fees and end the year in good financial shape.
During its January meeting Tuesday evening, Union City Council received the annual audit of the finances of the City of Union.
Mayor Harold Thompson said that, as with previous audits, the audit for fiscal 2015-2016 shows the city continues to be in good financial shape.
“The audit said we are in good shape, our city finances are in good shape, our revenues are about where we were last year, there’s nothing out of balance or unusual there,” Thompson said.
Thompson pointed out that the city did not have to increase taxes or most utility rates or other fees in 2015-2016, but was nevertheless able to address its capital and other needs. He said it was able to do so by continuing its practice of taking out loans at the lowest rate possible and seeking out grants to pay for capital improvements and other projects it undertakes during the fiscal year.
“Two things driving our revenues and expenditures is, first, we’ve been able to nail down a lot of grants,” Thompson said. “We’ve been able to use those to pay for things, especially capital improvements, without using a lot of our money.
“The second is we’ve been able to get loans at very low interest rates,” he said. ‘We’ve been able to get them at just the right time to get the lowest rate we could. I have to give kudos to our Finance Department for staying on top of interest rates and ensuring that we get the best rates possible.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, council voted unanimously to approve March 28, 29, and 30 as the dates for the 2017-2018 Annual Budget Work Session. Thompson said that during the budget session council will be going over the proposed budget with an eye to continuing the fiscal success it has achieved in the past.
“We’re going to be looking at things from top to bottom,” Thompson said. “If we see things we can change we will do it. We want to continue to be in good fiscal shape.”
The City of Union budget is divided between Governmental Funds (General Government, Economic Development, Other) and Proprietary Funds (Combined Utility, Solid Waste Management)
The Governmental Funds portion of the budget shows the General Government Division began the year with a fund balance of $3,137,003. In the course of the year, the General Government Division had $5,460,871 in revenues and $146,504 in other financing sources and uses and $5,666,939 in expenditures. This left the General Government Division with a fund balance of $3,077,439 at the end of the fiscal year.
The Economic Development Fund began the year with a fund balance of $4,007,342. During the course of the year the Economic Development Fund had revenues of $459,250, expenditures of $2,530 and $107,361 in transfers. This left the Economic Development Fund with a fund balance of $4,356,701 at the end of the fiscal year.
The fund balance for the Economic Development Funds is primarily fixed assets such as the spec building in the industrial park off US 176 that the city leases to Timken LLC.
The Other Governmental Funds began the year with a fund balance of $1,934,277. During the course of the year the Other Governmental Funds had revenues of $317,959 and expenditures of $1,652,152. This left the Other Governmental Funds with a fund balance of $600,084 at the end of the fiscal year.
The Other Governmental Funds fund balance is composed mainly of the Local Hospitality & Accommodations Tax Fund and the bond issue for Main Street Junction.
Taken in its entirety, Governmental Funds began the year with a fund balance of $9,078,622. It had total revenues of $6,238,080 and $39,143 in other financing sources and uses and $7,321,621 in expenditures. This left Governmental Funds with a fund balance of $8,034,224 at the end of the fiscal year.
The Proprietary Funds portion of the budget shows the Combined Utility Fund had total operating revenues of $33,133,515 and operating expenses of $31,124,347 and non-operating expenses of $489,838. This resulted in net earnings of $1,519,330 for the Combined Utility Fund as of the end of the fiscal year.
The Solid Waste Management Fund had total operating revenues of $761,183 and operating expenses of $727,487 and non-operating expenses of $2,225. This resulted in net earnings of $32,571 for the Solid Waste Management Fund as of the end of the fiscal year.
Total Proprietary Funds ended fiscal 2016-2017 with a total of $64,621,693 in liquid and fixed assets including $64,508,606 in the Combined Utility Fund and $113,087 in the Solid Waste Management Fund. Liquid assets are cash on hand while fixed assets are things such as water and sewer lines, pump stations, power stations and power lines, water and sewer treatment plants, trucks and other equipment.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.