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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The City of Jamestown’s 2021 financial audit has been completed, showing a positive trend in the government’s General Fund Budget for the first time in recent memory.
Drescher and Maleki Partner Carl Widmer gave a presentation of the results of the audit to City Council members on Monday Night, telling council members that the city’s finances are going in the right direction.
“It was a positive financial result for the year,“ stated Widmer. “I don’t think you can say that without in the same breath explaining 1.2 to almost 2 million dollars of it was unexpected in the form of sales tax receipts, above what you would budget.”
The amount of revenue the city has amassed has outpaced expenditures in the past five years, leading to a positive return in the General Fund.
For the 2021 fiscal year, unassigned monies totaled just over six million dollars, finally meeting the state’s recommendations after many years of financial uncertainty.
“For the year 2021, that six million dollars of unassigned fund balance correlates to 17 percent of the year’s spending,“ explained Widmer. “There’s been a best practice put out by The Government Finance Officers Association that’s stated a municipality’s general fund should have no less than two months worth of spending in their unassigned balance, that equates to 16.67 percent, so this 17 percent, the city has reached that minimum. Although, it’s no requirement but, the GFOA is a respected body of best practices and basically they say that’s a level that you’d be able to withstand whatever potential challenges you may have on the horizon.”
Some situations that can call on this money include disasters, weather emergencies, and unexpected costs.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist added to this, saying that this is the best the city has seen in recent memory, with no changes to the ordinary taxpayer.
“We’ve been able to, in the past couple years, continue to keep taxes low,“ stated Mayor Sundquist. “We haven’t raised taxes in several years, we’ve actually reduced them a little bit. We’ve been able to settle all of the union contracts, which is pretty good. We were able to keep healthcare for employees and retirees the same.”
In the end, the City of Jamestown’s fiscal situation is steadily improving. Widmer still believes there is much to do, like making sure no single person is doing too much work.
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