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Report: Farington's city finances show improvement in 2013

City of Farmington finance director Robin Hanson brought some good news to the city council when she presented the draft 2013 financials Monday night.

“The numbers are fairly solid,” Hanson said, “and 2013 was a very good year.”

Coming in at $10.2 million, the year-to-date general fund revenues were at 108 percent of what was budgeted for 2013, Hanson said. All revenue line items met or exceeded what was budgeted.

The city’s permit revenue was $278,000 ahead of what was budgeted for last year. Intergovernmental revenues came in $160,000 over budget, and actual investment income came in $12,000 over what was budgeted.

At the same time, the city’s outstanding delinquent taxes receivable balances were $259,000. That is a significant decrease from two years ago, when there was $607,000 in delinquent taxes on the books.

The general fund expenditures for 2013 came in at $10.4 million, or 103 percent of what was budgeted, but that’s mainly due to the purchase of Fire Engine 22, which was ordered in 2012 but paid for in 2013, Hanson said.

While activity in several departments came in under budget, snow removal did not.

“It was a long, expensive winter,” Hanson said.

The 2012-13 winter lasted, locally, into last May, she noted. Then, this year’s winter season started early, with several heavy snowfalls that required removal at the end of 2013. Because budgeting for snow removal depends on the weather each year, it is hard to accurately gauge how much to budget for in this area.

The general fund balance increased by $500,000 in 2013 to $3.1 million. That puts the general fund, fund balance at 28.3 percent of the 2014 budgeted general fund expenditures. Hanson cautioned that while this is good, the fund balance is expected to drop below zero in June, and remain there until the city receives the first half of the 2014 property tax revenue in July.

There were strong numbers across the board in the city’s enterprise funds, as well. The liquor stores both met or surpassed annual and monthly goals. The sewer fund expenses were $290,000 less than budgeted, solid waste expenses came in $667,000 less than budgeted, and the storm water fund expenses were $131,000 less than budgeted.

The report indicates Farmington is moving in the right direction financially, but there is still work to do, Hanson said.

“We have a ways to go, but it’s definitely stronger,” she said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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