Saugatuck In Great Financial Shape, According To Recent Independent Audit Report
Saugatuck city’s financial statements for fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016 are “maintained in very good shape,” according to the independent audit report provided by Kenneth Berthiaume, of the Berthiaume & Company firm.
That report came during Monday night’s Saugatuck City Council meeting.
With regards to the city’s general fund—Saugatuck’s largest fund providing for general government activities generated by property taxes, charges for services, and state of Michigan shared revenue—the city’s financing sources exceeded its financing uses by $178,884.
This outcome increased the ending fund balance to $2,079,092.
The city was able to increase revenues in serveral ways, including by increasing its charging fees at the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, at the SCA parking lot, at the Oval Beach parking entrance, and so on.
That ending general fund’s fund balance accounts for $1.8 million of unrestricted money - 80% of expenditures - in the annual budget, a figure auditors use as one way to measure the financial health of a city.
“That is a good position to be in,” said Berthiaume.
Nevertheless, Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier was quick to point out that is money the city will not be sitting on.
“We have $6 million in the capital improvement plan (parks and roads),” he said referring to needed infrastructure improvements for 2017.
A healthy unrestricted monies balance, as well as the fact the local electorate in the November general election approved the renewal of the road millage to the original two mills approved back in 2001, ought to help in that effort, said city officials.
“Since 2008, the city has been able to spend $112,000 on road maintenance (primarily crack sealing) and $4,755,000 to improve 21,700 feet (over four miles) of roads,” Harrier said in an October 2016 statement to The Local Observer.
“The city was also able to invest $377,000 at Oval Beach to resurface its almost 25,000 square yards of asphalt parking lots while expanding their capacity.”
In other budgetary highlights, Saugatuck’s second major government fund - the Local Street Fund - increased its ending fund balance by $299,383.
The city’s third major fund - the Sewer Improvements Fund - was able to increase its ending fund balance by $10,097.