James Bence, a representative of the auditing firm Mauldin & Jenkins, presented the city’s FY 2013 audit report at the meeting and said the city went “above and beyond” what is required of governments.
“For the period ending June 30, 2013, we did issue a clean opinion, which is what you want to have,” Bence said at the meeting.
A clean opinion means the city’s financial statements are considered to be a fair presentation of the city’s financial position and results of its operations until June 30.
There were “no audit findings” for the second year in a row, meaning there were no material issues, Bence said.
“I want to commend the city on that, as well. That’s a pretty impressive feat,” Bence said. “That’s two years in a row now.”
Mayor Rick Roberts said this year’s financial audit results were a big accomplishment, and thanked Finance Director Donna England and others who worked on the financial report.
“We worked real hard,” Roberts said. “We’re proud of what we’ve done.”
Bence has been doing the city’s audit for three years and said Ball Ground does a great job providing information to the firm to make the audit process go smoothly.
“I want to take a second to commend the city,” Bence said. “What you prepare is called a comprehensive annual financial report. For those of you not familiar with that, it’s above the minimum requirements. Governments only have to put together a basic set of financial statements, Ball Ground goes above and beyond that.”
Bence said the city includes extra information and makes it easier for residents to be aware of how the city is doing.
“It includes an introductory section and a statistical section,” Bence said. “You are doing much more than you’re required, and you’re doing a good job of it.”
Public safety and general government are the two top expenditures by the city, followed by culture and recreation in third, Bence pointed out.
“Those are the three common areas that governments provide service in,” Bence said.
Bence also noted the city does a good job matching revenue to expenses, “spending within realm of what you bring in.”
In the report Bence presented, it reads that the total revenues of the city increased by 35.6 percent, while the city’s expenses decreased by 14.9 percent.
Thursday’s meeting was the final Ball Ground City Council meeting until next year, and city offices will be closed on Christmas.
Also at the meeting:
• City Manager Eric Wilmarth said the Christmas parade was a big success, bringing around 6,000 people into the city for the event.
• Council voted unanimously to make a four-way stop at the intersection of Northridge Road and Depot Street. Councilman Mickey O’Malley said he heard from many longtime residents who were in favor of adding the four-way stop.
• Council voted unanimously to approve a $13,000 contract to purchase property at 420 Gilmer Ferry Road. Roberts said the property had a burned house on it and, after demolishing the house, said the property would be an asset for the city, and
• Council unanimously approved a $36,000 contract to purchase property at 200 Old Dawsonville Road. Wilmarth said the land could be used to extend the city’s park.