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The City’s 2021 Audit Reveals Positive Fiscal Year

The Jamestown City Council was presented with the 2021 audit performed by Drescher & Malecki during Monday’s councilwork session. P-J photo by Timothy Frudd

Help from the federal government and higher-than-expected sales tax revenue have boosted Jamestown’s fund balance to its highest levels in years.

Jamestown’s 2021 audit presented to the City Council revealed that they city had an increase in revenue and a decrease in expenditures in the 2021 fiscal year. For the second year in a row, the city’s audit was conducted by Drescher & Malecki. Carl Widmer, a certified public accountant with Drescher & Malecki told the council that the city audit for 2021 was completed successfully with no areas of concern.

A summary of the city’s general fund revenues and expenditures showed an increase in revenue over the past five years and a decrease in expenditures.

“Revenues for the city have outpaced expenditures for each of the past five years,” Widmer said. “What that means is a net income in the general fund or a positive return to fund balance. The net income for the general fund was just about $2 million,”

The audit results show the unassigned fund balance for they city of Jamestown in 2021 was $6,084,988.

Compared with the city’s total general fund spending, the unassigned balance was slightly over 17% of what the city spends in a given year, marking a significant increase from 2020.

Since 2017, the city’s general fund balance has increased from 5% to 17%.

Widmer said a best practice guideline recommended by the Government Finance Officers’ Association is that a city should have no less than two months of its spending in the unassigned fund balance.

“The city has reached that minimum,” Widmer said.

One of the main reasons for the city’s increased revenue was a favorable year in 2021 for Jamestown’s sales tax revenue.

“That was the primary reason for the increase,” Widmer said.

Council President Anthony Dolce, R-Ward 2, said they city’s increased revenue and reduction of expenditures in recent years is a remarkable improvement over previous years.

“It was tight,” Dolce said. “We were tight every year.”

While the 2021 audit was successful, Drescher & Malecki recommended the city add a deputy comptroller position to avoid one person having too many fiscal responsibilities. The suggestion by the auditors is something Mayor Eddie Sundquist had discussed during the recent appointment of John Sellstrom as the city comptroller.

“We’re also still actively looking for a deputy comptroller to provide additional support for John,” Sundquist said during the last City Council voting session.

Sundquist thanked the city’s finance team and the heads of each city department for continuing to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

“We are trying to maximize every dollar that comes into the city,” he said. ”

Sundquist said the audit presented at Monday’s meeting is the “culmination” of good budgeting between the mayor’s office and the City Council. Both the mayor and the City Council expressed a desire to continue to set aside money in case of unexpected expenses in the future.

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