This month, the city was able to hire and appoint Brent Hinson as Deputy City Administrator / Director of Finance and Krystal Garl as Deputy Director of Finance. This hiring and promotion is a big step forward in getting the service back to normal after a few difficult months. In the interim, temporary staff are provided by CFO systems to support day-to-day city operations, prepare for CAFR, and prepare year-end reports. The temporary staff have been a great support to the city staff and will be kept in place until the finance department is back in full swing.
Regarding the city’s financial situation specifically, a few notable exceptions to this analysis are as follows: the tax revenues of hotels / motels are lower and those of the recreation department, museums and library are lower. Some additional costs were also incurred as a result of the public safety and transit response to COVID. This fiscal year ended on June 30, and as the year-end financial statements are compiled, the financial outlook is good. Overall, strong municipal fund balances and prudent budgeting will allow the city to keep the city’s tax rate stable and future borrowing costs low. These two advantages have occurred recently, with Moody’s rating remaining stable at AA3 and municipal property tax declining.
Additionally, the city is estimated to receive approximately $ 4 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). For cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants, these funds are distributed across states and are much slower to receive. City staff have filed the necessary paperwork to secure the funds, but guidelines on eligible ARPA expenses are still limited. As more information becomes available from the federal agencies overseeing these funds, city staff will host a workshop to provide city council with an opportunity to discuss and provide direction to city staff. city on expenditure of ARPA funds.