South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Crestwood’s assets increase, liabilities down, audit shows

City receives ‘clean opinion’ on audit of its 2010 finances.

Crestwood’s assets increased during fiscal 2010 while its liabilities decreased, according to an independent audit of the city’s finances.

While total expenditures in all governmental funds exceeded revenues by $115,633 during fiscal 2010, the city’s governmental funds had a combined balance totaling $6,344,172 as of Dec. 31.

The Board of Aldermen recently voted 7-0 to accept into the record the audit performed by Botz, Deal & Co. Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel was absent from the June 28 meeting.

The city received a “clean opinion” for its fiscal 2010 audit, “which is what you were expecting,” Michele Graham of Botz, Deal & Co. told aldermen.

“A clean opinion means that your financial statements fairly present in all material respects the financial position of the city as of the last day of the fiscal year and the results of the operations throughout the fiscal year ending Dec. 31,” she said. “It also means that you’ve included all the required disclosures, meaning all the footnotes about how you did everything, the management discussion analysis, which is the first part of your financial statements that kind of does a comparison to the previous year and puts everything in much plainer language.

“So if you’re not an accountant and you’re not used to reading financial statements, particularly governmental financial statements, which, you know, are very — almost convoluted with the way you have to do everything now. It puts everything in a much plainer language and also talks about your budget next year and things. So you have included all the required disclosures. Everything was accurately presented. Your records supported everything that is presented here. Everything was in good shape …”

During fiscal 2010, the city’s net assets exceeded its liabilities by $17,746,984, according to the audit.

The city’s net assets increased during fiscal 2010 by $785,302 — more than 4.6 percent — compared to the previous year while Crestwood’s long-term liabilities decreased by $1,157,515 — more than 30 percent — compared to fiscal 2009.

For fiscal 2010, total city revenues decreased by $796,657 — 6.3 percent — to $11,901,077 from $12,697,734 the previous fiscal year.

“This is primarily due to a decrease in sales-tax revenues during 2010 of approximately $330,000 and a decrease in capital grants of approximately $179,000,” the audit stated. “Utility taxes and licenses and permits each decreased approximately $100,000 from 2009 to 2010.”

The city’s total expenses increased by $376,941 to $11,211,556 in 2010 compared to $10,834,615 in fiscal 2009.

“The expense item having the most significant effect on the increase of expenses was employee benefits. The remainder of the increase was attributable to inflation,” the report stated.

Total fiscal 2010 revenues in the city’s governmental funds decreased by 5.4 percent — $684,250.

“A majority of the decrease is due to a decrease in sales tax and grants of approximately $330,000 and $185,000, respectively,” the audit stated.

In the general fund, revenues exceeded expenditures in fiscal 2010 by $237,912 while expenditures decreased $748,957 in 2010 compared to the previous year. The decrease was almost entirely attributable to a decrease in debt-service expenditures of $984,544 related to the retirement of the city’s Annual Appropriation Note.

“For 2010, actual revenues in the general fund were $8,499,132 as compared to the budget amount of $8.711,290. The $212,158 negative variance was primarily due to lower sales-tax receipts,” the audit stated.

“For 2010, actual expenditures in the general fund were $8,261,220 compared to the budget amount of $8,464,560. The city was under budget by $203,230,” the report stated, citing lower workers’ compensation payments, lower employee deductible reimbursement payments and departmental under-spending.

The report noted, “The city, like many surrounding municipalities, has experienced the impact of a declining economy. For fiscal 2011, revenues will be conservatively estimated at an amount less than 2010.

“The city also plans to reduce expenditures, departmentally-wide, to account for the decline in budgeted revenues. Unfortunately, this may result in further deference of maintenance to city infrastructure and alterations to the city’s five-year plan,” the report stated.

“The city will continue to focus on building fund balances, reducing debt and providing a quality level of services to the citizens of the city of Crestwood, Mo.”

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