Maxwell: Audit Showed Sulphur Springs Had Well Controlled, Healthy Financials In FY 2021

Backhoe Purchase Approved By City Council

The City of Sulphur Springs’ annual audit showed the fund balance up and debt going down in 2021, city officials reported this week. A backhoe purchase was also approved by Sulphur Springs City Council Tuesday.

Sulphur Springs City Hall
Sulphur Springs Municipal Building (City Hall)

Backhoe Purchase

At the regular March 1 meeting, Sulphur Springs City Council was asked to consider approving a purchase of a backhoe from South Star JCB through a Sourcewell purchasing agreement. The cost was more than originally budgeted. The City Manager asked that additional time be given to check on costs of a new Caterpillar backhoe, as the last few equipment purchases the City has made have been Caterpillar. That equipment seems to be holding up better and has served the city well, he noted.

At the special noon City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 22, utilities director James Jordan resubmitted the request for the purchase of a backhoe from JCB. Deeper dig depth and availability of parts were factors cited for the recommendation of the unit, according to the city manager.

The City Council approved the purchase of the backhoe from South Star JCB via Sourcewell at Tuesday’s meeting.

FY 2021 Audit

K. Evans & Associates, CPA’s, issued an unmodified (“clean”) opinion on the City of Sulphur Springs,
Texas financial statements for the year ended September 30, 2021.

The City of Sulphur Springs’ 2021 financial audit showed the budget to be well controlled with healthy financials, City Manager Marc Maxwell noted. The fund balance was good and long-term debt decreased by $1,521,113 during the 2021 fiscal year

Maxwell said when he first started in his job, the city’s general fund had only enough in it to cover 3 1/2 days of operations. That has increased to cover almost 5 months worth of operations.

Officials, entering the 2021 fiscal year thought revenues would be down due to COVID, so the city saved some back to potentially account for fluctuations in spending and revenues. Despite the pandemic situation, unemployment and historical inflation, local sales tax generation remained resilient with an 8.74% increase in FY 2021. The City also received funding from funneled down from the federal government to assist with certain expenses due to COVID, he explained.

The City’s combined ending fund balances for FY 2021 were $11,346,120, an increase of $2,886,518 in comparison with the prior year. The reasons for the increase in fund balances are receipt of approximately $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery money, grant revenue better than expected, sales tax revenue, and police asset forfeiture revenue, according to the audit summary.

At the end of the current fiscal year, unassigned fund balance for the general fund was $4,892,503
or 45 percent of total general fund expenditures, according to the K. Evans & Associates, CPA audit summary.

The audit was accepted as presented by the City Council at the March 22, 2022 meeting.

Author: Faith Huffman

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