Commission hears city’s finances are solid

CLEWISTON — The Clewiston City Commission heard a very positive report at its July 2 meeting, with the auditor stating that the city’s finances were firmly in the black at the end of fiscal year 2017.

Mayor Mali Gardner found the audit results to be great news for the city. “We’ve come through some really tough times as a community, but we were able to sustain the economic hardships by using our reserves,” she stated. “We didn’t close down the police department, we didn’t close down the golf course, we didn’t have to close down our parks, we didn’t have to have massive layoffs, we just … tried to become more efficient and we’re still working on that right now.”

At the beginning of the commissioners’ meeting that Monday night, Mayor Gardner asked David Miller of the city’s contracted financial auditing firm Boy, Miller & Swindle P.A. to explain how Clewiston’s finances appeared as of Sept. 30, 2017.

First he explained the two different ways the numbers were presented in their report, relying mostly on the “government-wide statement,” which takes into account overall fund balances to give a complete picture.

“What you’re looking at here is current assets and current liabilities, available resources for the city to use in the following fiscal year. At the end of the year, the governmental fund balance was positive … what we saw there in looking at the budget vs. actual, was that you beat the budget by quite a bit,” he said.

“In 2016, there was a favorable excess of revenues over expenditures of about $170,000, and this year here, it was in excess of $400,000. So in terms of the fund balance, the city is moving in the right direction, and that’s a good thing,” Mr. Miller reported.

“He’s been the auditor since before I was on the city commission,” Mayor Gardner said, “and he’s been through the good times and the bad times as far as finances. His entire 2017 audit … was good news.”

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