The city’s audit for the fiscal year which ended June 30 contained no exceptions or deficiencies, its auditor told the council Tuesday night.
“I’m happy with the internal controls. I’m happy with the increase in fund balance,” said the auditor, Gregory Redman, a CPA from Tarboro.
Redman said the city’s tax collection rate was 99.69 percent which is over the state average. “As long as that rate stays high, you won’t have to raise taxes.”
In the management discussion and analysis section of the audit, the city said, “Governmental activities increased the city’s net position by $1,572,797. The increase in net position was the result of increased revenue generation as well as (a) continued effort to control costs and management expenditures.”
That portion of the document said, “City management continued to reduce non-essential programs to a minimum and implemented cost-saving strategies across city departments. Increased efforts to maximize tax collections also contributed to the favorable net position.”
Said the analysis: “Though many of the city’s residents were hit hard by the COVID pandemic, tax revenue increased. City management acknowledges that 2021 was a successful year and plans on improving upon those approaches as a long-term strategy to realize continued fiscal health.”
At the end of the fiscal year, the unreserved fund balance of the general fund was $4,118,325 while the total fund balance reached $5,535,399. The unreserved fund balance represents 16 percent of total general fund expenditures while the total fund balance represents 26 percent of the same amount. The restricted fund balance is $1,417,074.
At the end of June, the governmental funds showed a net increase in fund balance of $1,376,077.
Redman said for a city like Roanoke Rapids, which relies on its general fund and has no utilities to generate revenues, “I’m impressed where the city is. A lot of towns depend on utilities. A lot of times this helps out.”
The city is above the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ 8 percent fund balance threshold, although he said the average for cities the same size as Roanoke Rapids is 46 percent.
City Manager Kelly Traynham thanked the staff and the management team for the positive results. “Every dollar, every cent was accounted for.”
Mayor Emery Doughtie was also pleased with the results. “We’ve kind of gotten used to getting all these good audit reports.”
In other matters Tuesday:
Council approved a budget amendment of $29,000 to buy rollout containers since the public works department currently has less than 100 in stock. Replacement cans have been requested for several budget cycles.
The last full replacement was in January of 2019.
Public Works Director Larry Chalker said following the meeting the $29,000 would allow the city to buy more than 500 new containers.
Traynham told council that current Main Street Development Director Christina Caudle has been named the new human resources director with the upcoming retirement of Kathy Kearney.