Audit: City in good shape financially

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The city of Vicksburg finished the 2016 fiscal year in good financial health, according to the audit report on the city’s finances released Tuesday.

According to the report, the city’s net worth increased from $112 million to $115.2 million with total assets of $199 million and total liabilities were $92.3 million. It ended fiscal 2016 with a $25.3 million fund balance.

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“We issued a clean opinion, and that was good,” auditor Booker T. Camper told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which received the report at a special meeting Tuesday morning. He said there was one exception in the report concerning records of cash receipts kept by the police and those of the municipal court. He said the exception was minor.

“That’s (the records problem) been here since we’ve been here,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

Camper said at one time there were seven or eight exceptions involving the court system, “And we got rid of all of them but this one.

“The city is fiscally on track with the mayor setting up the rainy day fund, and it looks real good.”

“Under this past administration and the beginning of this one, we’ve been able to get our audits out on time,” Flaggs said.

He pointed out when the last board took office the city did not have a bond rating, and planned to improve the city’s present A2 bond rating, based on the city’s increased net worth.

“We’ve made some positive changes in our budgetary process and our day-to-day operations of the city, like freezing positions, which is going to cap the number of employees we’re going to have in a year, has helped,” Flaggs said.

“We adopted a fund balance that we would maintain a 25 percent, at least, of cash on hand as we operate … it has gone to 51 percent, and we now have $3.014 million in our reserve fund.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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