Andalusia earns positive financial audit FY22 report

Published 9:15 am Sunday, October 8, 2023

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The City of Andalusia received positive news following an audit of the fiscal year 2022 financial report.

Gail Hayes of Rabren, Odom, Pierce and Hayes accounting firm told the city council during its workshop meeting on Tuesday that the audit consisted of no negative findings in regard to internal control processes and the financial standing of the city remains strong.

For FY 2022, Hayes said the city’s asset outflow exceeded its liability intakes by over $42 million, an increase of over $3.5 million year-over-year.

The total cash intake was about $31.3 million, an increase of over $21 million, which is a bit inflated due to a bond issue where some funds were earmarked for future projects. Unrestricted cash increased over $1 million year-over-year, leaving the city with unrestricted funds of just under $10 million.

The city purchased several assets during the 2022 fiscal year and invested in several economic development projects at a cost of about $2.7 million, including the Prestwood Building and Covington Casket projects. Equipment purchases put into service during the fiscal year included $1.5 million for mowers, a Freightliner truck, and other items.

Total revenue for the city was over $25 million for FY22, up about $240,000 from the prior year. Of that, sales tax yielded about $11.7 million, an increase of about $775,000 from FY21.

“When I came on the council our total budget was $11 million. Now, we have sales tax collections of that amount. We’re doing something right,” said Councilman Terry Powell.

Providing additional perspective on the growth of the city’s sales tax revenue, Hayes stated that in FY19 the city’s sales tax revenue was at $9.3 million. “It’s been increasing every year,” Pierce said.

The net position for the city is $42.3 million in equity, up from $38 million in FY21.

“What that means is that for FY22, our net income was over $3.5 million. We have had a positive net change every year since 2013. The city isn’t in the position of making money, but to provide services. In order to do that, we have to have the profits to pay for it. The city is in great financial position. That’s what these financial statements tell us,” Hayes said.

The council will review the documents and the audit will placed on a future meeting agenda for consideration to approve.

Matters discussed during the regular portion of the council meeting included:

  • discussing a property known locally as “The Boarding House,” located at S. Cotton and Watson streets. Following a state inspection in 2019, the state cited the property for code violations. Recently, the city’s municipal court ruled that the property owner was not licensed to run a boarding house and that the property is still not up to code. The property owner has appealed the decision, meaning it will be heard in circuit court. According to city officials, the property was grandfathered in as a boarding house, but after not being used for that purpose for over a year, and a change in ownership, it no longer qualifies for “non-conforming use” under the city’s zoning ordinances. The city council authorized City Attorney Mark Christensen to seek a court injunction to stop operation of the boarding house, citing safety concerns.
  • approving a change order for the city’s sidewalk and street project on Henderson Street and Coleman Avenue, behind Andalusia High School. The council approved paying an additional $60,000 from the city’s capital improvement fund to extend curb and gutter improvements by about 270 feet.
  • approval of board members. Ed Short, John Taylor and Mike Ward were each re-appointed to the city’s Industrial Development Board to fill six-year terms. Also, the city extended by one year the term of current IDB member Beth Woodard in order to create correct staggered terms among the board’s members. The city is taking applications for another IDB seat previously held by Jim Smith who has resigned.

The city also re-appointed Billy Joe Stallworth and Emma Locke to the city’s recreation board. A new member — Billy Bergfield — was appointed to fill a vacant seat previously held by Randy Wahl.

The next city council meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m., at city hall. A work session begins at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.