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Audit shows city finances are improving, debt reduced

City Auditor Tom Carmichael of Bowen Phillips, LLP, presented a draft of the city’s 2010 audit and the report indicated improvement in city finances.
Cairo Mayor Richard VanLandingham was especially pleased with the continued reduction in the city’s long-term debt.
During fiscal year 2009-2010, which ended June 30, the city’s long-term debt stood at $18,902,000, which is down from $19,824,000 the year prior.
“That’s very positive. It’s heading in the right direction,” the mayor commented Monday night during a council finance committee meeting held prior to the city council meeting.
“Yes it is,” Auditor Carmichael replied and added, “You reduced it about $900,000.”
City Manager Chris Addleton said the city has paid down roughly a million dollars on its long-term debt for the last several years.
The auditor also credited the council for its decision to clean up its books by eliminating an accumulation of “due to” and “due froms” from city records.
“Where money has been loaned from one fund to another and there is no intention to pay that money back in the near term, it makes since to remove the entries from the books,” the auditor said.
Carmichael said leaving the “due to” and “due froms” on the city’s books would reflect an overstated fund balance.
After making the corrections, the city’s 2010 audit will show the city’s fund balance as of June 30 was $3,458,000, compared to $4,272,000 the year prior.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas noted that the final audit report would not be presented until later this week or early next week and is due to the state by Dec. 31, 2010.
“We will not be meeting again before the deadline, so once you get your copy of the financial statement and you have questions, you need to get with the city manager,” Douglas said.
The finance committee and city council did not have an issue with City Manager Chris Addleton authorizing the auditors to submit the audit to the state if concerns raised by the council prior to the final report were completed.

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