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Preliminary 2009-2010 Fiscal year audit figures are looking healthy according to a report given to the City Finance Committee by Certified Public Accountants Bob Baker and Ryan Allen.

Finance Committee Chairman Ken Gutzman told the December 15th meeting of the Salmon City Council that the yearly audit is 60 percent complete and that the General Fund is in good shape with a fund balance carry-over of around $500,000. Gutzman reported that balance is largely due to the sale of land that was to be used for the Golf Course as well as departments keeping their expenses under budget.

The city’s Streets and Alleys Fund was overspent in 2010 due to the purchase of a street sweeper. Gutzman said according to the pay back schedule put in place at the time of the purchase, the monies spent on the sweeper will be paid back to the city’s General Fund in two-years.

Gutzman said the audit report has found the Cemetery Fund to be healthy with $74,000 in fund equity at the end of the fiscal year. The city’s Water Fund is slowly gaining due to the increased water rates put into place last February.

The Sewer Fund is strong this year because the major expenses related to Infiltration and Inflow repairs will be capitalized as a ‘work-in-progress.’

Calculations on outstanding bonds show approximately $890,000 at a rate of five percent is still owed on the 1990 water bond and that the city owes the Department of Environmental Quality just under $6 million for the loan to bring the city’s water treatment system up to state standards.

Gutzman said the completed audit’s first draft will be ready in January with the final report available in February.

The Finance Committee also discussed the property tax relief segment of the Local Option Tax Ordinance and was told it will not be an issue in 2010 since revenues did not exceed the estimated budget. State Statute 50-1045 defines procedures to follow in the event of a budget excess. It states, “Any resort city that receives more revenues from any local-option non property tax than such city has budgeted, shall establish a city property tax relief fund into which shall be placed all revenues received in excess of the budget amount and such excess revenues shall be used to replace city property taxes in the ensuing fiscal year by the amount of all excess revenues placed in said city property tax relief fund.”

City Wastewater Treatment Superintendent Harry Shanafelt and Water Plant Manager Paul Stokes approached the Finance Committee on the subject of “step” increases to their salaries. Gutzman said both men are nearing retirement and say they have not had the step increases for several years. Shanafelt and Stokes would like to be compensated for their services at a rate comparable to other cities of this size. City Administrator George Ambrose and City Finance Director Amy Fealko will research rates in other cities and report findings to the Finance Committee.

The next meeting of the Finance Committee is set for January 19, 2011 at 10AM in the Salmon Valley meeting room. The meetings are open to the public.

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