Today, I’d like to address the City of Sleepy Eye’s financial position.
Today, I’d like to address the City of Sleepy Eye’s financial position. There has been an awful lot of misinformation about our financial position that I want to clear up. The City just received their annual audit, completed by Dennis E. Oberlah, CPA, from Redwood Falls. They do a large number of municipal audits and have been doing Sleepy Eye’s for a number of years.
I’m happy to report that the City received a glowing report from the auditing firm. I spoke with Sara Beavers, from this firm, in preparation for writing this column and she was quite positive about the City of Sleepy Eye’s report.
Here are some specific highlights from the audit:
•The City of Sleepy Eye has $70,552,230 in assets.
•Of those assets, over $20 million are held in cash and investments. (More about this below.)
•Almost $1 million has already been paid on the Event Center—leaving $3 million to be paid with City held investments.
•This past year, the City made $480,000 on investments.
•The Snow Farm is paid for—with an internal transfer. The cost was $5,900 per acre for a total of $1,610,000.
While the City has $70 million in assets, it does hold $12 million in debt. $6 million in debt belongs to the PUC and the hospital. The other $6 million belongs to the City for three street projects (2001, 2007, and 2012) and the swimming pool. Debt service on these funds is very manageable in the City budget.
Regarding the $20 million the City holds in cash and investments, it should be noted that a good share of that money is dedicated to specific purposes. Let me break that down for you:
•$3.4 million is held in the Sewer Fund.
•$3.5 million is held by the PUC.
•$6 million is held by the hospital.
•$500,000 is held in the ambulance fund, with $200,000 committed for a new ambulance.
•$3.9 million is available in the general fund—used for paying bills, emergencies, etc.
The remainder is in other smaller funds.
Be assured that our City is in fine financial condition. And, contrary to what I’ve heard a few times, our City Manager is NOT spending all our money. In fact, he’s doing an effective job managing the City’s assets. And finally, when it comes to those larger financial decisions, it is the City Council that makes those major decisions anyway, not the City Manager. We can be proud of the great financial position our City is in.