City in good financial shape
Alexandria remains in good financial shape and its audit was clean, according to an annual report by the accounting firm, Abdo, Eick and Meyers.
The Alexandria City Council approved the 2018 audit at its Monday night meeting.
The city ended 2018 with a fund balance in its general fund of $4.2 million, which amounts to 45 percent of its total budget of $9.27 million. The percentage is in line with the city's fund balance policy of the last three years.
The city's total net position increased $2.04 million, compared to a decrease of $1.51 million the previous year. The report cited two main reasons for the increase: Enterprise funds, which includes the operation of the two city-owned liquor stores, increased $152,398, and capital grants and contributions increased $1.79 million.
The percentage of gross profits from the liquor stores increased to 23.4 percent, up from 22.7 percent in 2017. The city transferred $200,000 from Plaza Liquors and $25,000 from Downtown Liquor into the general fund.
The city's debt decreased by $4 million in 2018 and amounted to $23.5 million. Per capita, this amounts to $1,707 for each resident, which is less than other comparable cities that had per capita debt of $1,890 in 2017.
Here's a percentage breakdown of the city's revenues: property taxes — 46.7 percent; charges for services — 22.9 percent; capital grants and contributions — 10.6 percent; unrestricted grants and contributions — 9 percent; other taxes — 5.1 percent; operating grants and contributions — 4.3 percent; unrestricted investment earnings — 1.1 percent; and other revenue — 0.3 percent.
As in past years, the audit showed some minor internal control problems — a limited segregation of financial duties, but the city continues to take steps to correct the findings and improve efficiency, according to Tom Olinger with Abdo, Eick and Meyers.
"Overall, things are in good shape," Olinger said.
A few other highlights in the report:
• Revenues at the Runestone Community Center totaled $559,000, $24,000 less than budgeted. Expenditures at the RCC were over budget by $16,000.
• Building permit revenues for the year exceeded the budget by $183,000 because of an increase in commercial projects and single-family homes.
• Township inspection fees exceeded the budget by $37,000 because of increased building in Alexandria Township.
• Colder weather caused an increase in franchise fees from natural gas, exceeding the budget by $95,000.
• Storm damage to the city airport property in 2017 was repaired last year, resulting in $52,500 that was not included in the 2018 budget.
• General engineering costs exceeded the budget by $35,500.
• Total payroll and expenses in the city's general fund were under budget by $136,600. Wages for the streets and park departments came in under budget and a budgeted hire for police/civil employees department didn't take place in 2018.
• The city's capital assets — land, buildings, machinery and construction in progress — totaled just over $75 million in 2018, a slight increase from 2017's total of $74.58 million.