Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1663829

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2017

City financials show positive balance

By David Hotle | Jun 23, 2017

With less than a week before the end of the fiscal year, the City of Washington is looking at ending the year approximately $200,000 ahead.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the amount that the city will be in the black this year may change after the end of the fiscal year on June 30 when all the receipts from the year come in, but Hinson said the city appears financially strong. Basing a projection for the end of the year on the financials as of the end of May, Hinson said the general fund is at 96 percent for projected revenues and about 86 percent for expenses. He said this means the city has received more revenue than projected and expenses have been less than projected. He also believes an amount on the neighborhood of $200,000 will be added to the city’s reserves at the end of the fiscal year on a $3.6 million budget.

“We are very pleased with where we appear to be at this point,” he said. “We will know a lot more once we work on the actual year end close, which will follow June 30.”

Just six years ago, the City of Washington’s general fund balance as the fiscal year was ending was about $750,000 in the red.

Overall, Hinson said, the trend has been for city finances to grow stronger. Many financial firms recommend the city have at least 25 percent of yearly expenses in reserve.

Hinson said the city is continuing to be in a good financial position.

“We have tried to address our budget in a conservative way where we are trying to keep from having unexpected expenses come up that cause a real problem with the budget by budgeting conservatively,” he said. “That is essentially the philosophy we have taken over the last few years, and it has paid off.”

He said the city has attained a solid financial position. While he said there are still financial challenges for the city, such as sewer infrastructure and the coming water plant project, the city has worked to plan ahead to keep surprises from happening, and when surprises do happen, to be ready.

During the last fiscal year, the city has done many capital projects. The business park was completed. The city also reconstructed Sitler Drive to improve traffic flow. Several water and sewer projects were also completed over the year. Major improvements were also made to two of the city’s three wells.

In the coming fiscal year, the big projects the city will include water plant renovations, the beginning stages of constructing a new municipal building, and planning for the proposed wellness park.

“We have a lot of big things going, but not as much construction,” Hinson said. “The 2017 construction season is quieter than the 2016 season.”

 

 

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