ALBANY, Ga. — An auditor told commissioners Tuesday that the city’s books for the previous fiscal year are clean with only a few marginal findings related to paperwork noted.
Meredith Lipson of the auditing firm Mauldin and Jenkins told commissioners that her organization had reviewed nearly $100 million worth of revenues and expenses for Fiscal Year 2011, which ended July 30, 2011, and were prepared to issue an unqualified opinion, meaning the books appeared clean and clear of any irregularities.
The audit shows that the city generated revenues in its largest fund — the general fund — of $56.2 million and spent $57.3 million.
On the revenue side, Lipson said that the cash generated from property taxes — the chief source of revenue for the general fund — was down by $1.5 million from FY 2010, while sales taxes were down $278,000 from the previous year.
The city government collected roughly $13.7 million in property taxes, $8.4 million in sales taxes, $8 million in other taxes, $2.2 million in licenses and permits, $5.5 million in federal and state grants, $1.7 million in fines and forfeitures, $1.3 million from other sources, and $1.1 million in transfers from other funds.
The Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission posted revenues in excess of $13.8 million.
On the expenditure side, Lipson noted that the city spent roughly 4 percent more in FY 2011 than in FY 2010, with the largest increases in spending coming for public safety — $1.7 million — and an increase in general government expenditures of $1.2 million.
Public Safety currently gets the largest chunk of the general fund at $29 million, with $7.7 million for public works, $11.1 million for general government use, $4.2 million for parks and recreation, $2.6 million for other funds, $1 million for judicial use, $1 million for Chehaw and $396,000 for community service.
The city’s two main enterprise funds, the Sanitary Sewer Fund and the Solid Waste Fund, are each funded based on user charges based on consumption. For FY 2011, the Sanitary Sewer Fund ended the year with operating revenues at $15.3 million and expenses at $11.7 million. The Solid Waste Fund ended the year with revenues at $9 million with expenses at $8.2 million.
Lipson told commissioners that the auditors did note three irregularities that she said were nominal but had to be reported.
In the accounts receivable department, the audit notes that the city did not properly adjust accounts receivable in the General Fund, the Community Development Fund and the nonmajor funds before June 30, 2011.
To correct the problem, auditors recommended that the city review all revenues after the close of the fiscal year to ensure they were properly recorded.
Auditors also noted that in the city’s grant programs some of the cash draws weren’t properly signed off on by City Manager James Taylor.
Taylor told commissioners Tuesday that he OK’d the drawdowns of an energy conservation grant for use in installing more energy efficient street lights and crosswalk signals, but failed to initial the documents themselves.
Finally, auditors noted a similar authorization issue on the financial reporting documents within the same grant program in which they say that city leadership failed to properly sign-off on the statements.