Audit confirms Webb City’s financial status has improved

The Webb City Council received the “clean audit – the best possible” Monday from Jon Cummings, of KPM CPAs and Advisors.

Better yet, Cummings reported that “overall, you have revenue going up and expenses going down.”

According to the audit of the 2021 fiscal year (ending Oct. 31, 2021), revenues increased by $1,097,107 to $15,089,086, while expenses decreased by $803,590 to $11,865,306. Therefore, the increase to the city’s net position was $3,223,780.

“It was a pretty solid year,” Cummins said, noting that the utility funds did well, too.

The audit cites the following economic highlights that contributed to the city’s improving finances:

• Development in the Centennial Retail and Industrial Park, with its Transportation Development District tax, continued. The extra 0.05% sales tax charged by nine businesses in the district brought in approximately $71,000.

• Sales tax collections remained strong – 11.8% over prior fiscal year. And use tax collections increased 26% over the fiscal year. The city was fortunate to not experience a decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Because sales tax remained strong, planned expenditures, including capital projects, were kept on track.

• The American Rescue Plan Act Fund, created in 2021, was set up to track revenues and expenditures related to the funds the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan Act passed by the federal government in 2021.

The city is set to receive a total $2,234,933 over two years in connection with the American Rescue Plan Act. The first payment of $1.2 million was received in September 2021. The remaining half is expected to be received in the fall of 2022. A plan to spend the money has to be made by December 2024, and the funds have to be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

• Improving the city’s Missouri LAGERS retirement benefit plan (Mo. Local Government Employees Retirement System) from an L-7 level to L-12 took effect at the start of the 2022 fiscal year. This means that the percentage used to calculate a pension is going from 1.5% of a member’s final average salary to 1.75%.

Other than the standard cautions, such as continuing to guard against cybercrime, Cummings had no specific recommendations. He thanked Tracy Craig, the city’s financial administrator, and other staff members for their cooperation.

Three bridges being repaired

Rick Roth, street and water director, reported that public works employees are repairing three bridges that were damaged by the heavy rainfall a couple of weeks ago.

In addition to the bridge on West Seventh Street at Chesterfield Estates, which was closed to repave it, damage is also being assessed and repaired farther down Sunset Creek at bridges on West Broadway and West Aylor Street.

City Administrator Carl Francis said there is a plan to slow down the flow of Sunset Creek that he is negotiating on with a land owner.

In other action, the council:

• Approved second (final) reading of an ordinance rezoning lots on East Second Street at the request of Joe Beard to build two houses. The zoning is changing from industrial at R-1. Suggested R-2 zoning was denied on April 18 by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

• Approved an ordinance repealing the ban on aerial fireworks because it is impossible to enforce it.

• Voted to accept the $72,141 bid from Layne Christensen to abandon two unused water wells according to Department of Natural Resources regulations. The wells are No. 7, near Cardinal Scale Mfg., and No. 10, on South Hall Street.

• Voted to allow the police department to accept a $3,990 grant from SUGA, a software users group dedicated to the support, education and training and professional networking of public sector organizations and employees. Police Chief Don Melton submitted the grant request to pay for the department’s required annual POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) officer training, including $1,200 at Missouri Southern State University, $1,890 at Virtual (online) Academy, and $900 for Rifle Armorer training.

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