WILMINGTON — The results for the City of Wilmington’s Fiscal Year budget audit are in, and the city has received a clean audit opinion. Finance Director Jennifer Maready gave City Council a rundown of Fiscal Year 2017’s budget on Monday.
From operating several enterprise funds, to general fund expenditures, the city is in good financial shape according to Maready.
The City of Wilmington currently operates several enterprise funds to generate revenue including storm water, solid waste, parking, and golf. All four of the enterprise funds saw an excess of funds placed back into the city’s general fund in Fiscal Year 2017, which ended June 30.
While three of the four accounts saw a surplus of revenue compared to its expenses, the golf fund, although still under budget, spent more money than it made.
“For the golf fund, again revenues and expenditures came in under budget. Expenditures are a little bit higher than our revenues that came in so we had to use about $68,000 of our fund balance,” Maready said.
The city had planned on using money from its general fund to subsidize the golf course, but instead of using roughly $103,000, the city stayed within its budget.
- Government entities are required to operate with a balanced budget, meaning revenues are equal to expenses at the end of each fiscal year
- The General Fund acts as a savings account where excess funds are stored if revenues are higher than expenditures
- During Fiscal Year 2017, the City of Wilmington spent $2,304,537 from the general fund
- The City of Wilmington leaves at least 25 percent of General Fund balance unassigned to maintain triple a bond rating and to respond to emergency situations
Wilmington originally planned to spend more than $10 million from the general fund in Fiscal Year 2017 as an appropriated fund balance, but was able to reduce that number to just over $2 million.
“When we first adopted the Fiscal Year 2017 budget we estimated that we were going to use $5.7 million of fund balance for the year. During the year we had various items come up that we increased that projection to $10.9 million with our expenditures coming under budget by $6.3 million. Without that appropriated fund balance our revenues came in about $2 million over our budget, so we only used $2.3 million of fund balance instead of the $10.9 million,” Maready said.
According to Maready, the last time before Fiscal Year 2017 the city used money from the general fund’s unassigned balance was in 2010.
The two largest generators of revenue for the city came from property tax as well as sales tax, both of which both had higher revenues than expected.
Fiscal Year 2018 is underway and, according to Maready, the city has appropriated almost $8 million out of the general fund to help pay for several projects.
Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.email@example.com