August 18, 2022

Mount Airy High schools hold toy, food drives – Mount Airy News

Sad stories of small businesses being bankrupted and towns depleted of cash are all too common from the pandemic, but the financial position for the city of Mount Airy actually has improved over the past two years.

That is evidenced by the most recent independent audit of the city’s books which is required annually, showing that if it were a corporation the municipality would be firmly in the black and …….

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Sad stories of small businesses being bankrupted and towns depleted of cash are all too common from the pandemic, but the financial position for the city of Mount Airy actually has improved over the past two years.

That is evidenced by the most recent independent audit of the city’s books which is required annually, showing that if it were a corporation the municipality would be firmly in the black and not the red.

However, city officials caution that observers shouldn’t read too much into the bottom line, saying it reflects unusual factors and the delaying of expenditures that have been kicked down the road which will burden future budgets.

The latest audit, for the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended on June 30, shows a key barometer of Mount Airy’s finances — the available fund balance — aka its savings or surplus — increasingly significantly from the previous year.

It rose by more than $1.5 million, according to an audit presentation at a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners last week.

This is on top of a similar disclosure from the previous, 2019-20 fiscal year, when the available fund balance grew by nearly $1.7 million. That surplus fund is defined as money that is accompanied by no restrictions, which may be used for any purpose.

As of the end of June, it stood at roughly $12.6 million, up from $11 million the fiscal year before.

Putting this into perspective, a state regulatory agency, the Local Government Commission, recommends that a city maintain a surplus representing 8% of its annual budget, covering what would be required to run things for about one month with no revenues generated.

In Mount Airy’s case, its surplus would be sufficient to carry the municipality for 12.5 months, based on its 2020-21 general fund expenditures of just over $11.7 million.

“So the city is doing pretty well in this area,” summed-up Kelly Gooderham of the Martin Starnes and Associates accounting firm of Hickory, which has been auditing city financial records since 2011.

Not your normal times

City council members seemed pleased by such results given the coronavirus crisis, though Mayor Ron Niland suggested that the good showing is somewhat artificial in nature.

“There are some underlying factors to those numbers — as we know, the COVID and us being short on people and delaying expenditures we’re going to have to look at” down the road, Niland explained, while also acknowledging the “good healthy report” presented.

He was referring to vacancies that have gone unfilled, for example in the Mount Airy Police Department, corresponding with savings occurring from salaries and benefits but posing available manpower issues.

Total costs of the public safety …….

Source: https://www.mtairynews.com/news/103689/mount-airy-high-schools-hold-toy-food-drives