2019 Rose City audit shows decrease in fund balance, increase in assets

City levied a total of $208,668 in taxes in 2019 fiscal year

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ROSE CITY — The 2019 City of Rose City audit showed a combined fund balance of $536,611, a decrease of $65,393 from 2018; however, it also revealed the city’s total assets to be $3,769,089, an increase of $132,462 from 2018. The audit was presented at the Rose City Council’s Tuesday, Jan. 21 regular meeting.

The taxable value of the city totalled $11,197,910 in 2019. Ad valorem taxes levied in the city include 14.6348 mills for operating purposes, bringing in $163,878; three mills for city streets, bringing in $33,593; and one mill for fire protection purposes, bringing in $11,197.

Rose City Clerk Cindy Rosebrugh said the greatest factor in the difference in the city’s expenses, funding and assets from 2018 to 2019 was the construction of the Rose City Farmer’s Market last year. She said the combined fund balance for 2019 was somewhat misleading, as the city received a grant of $91,300 from the US Department of Agriculture  for the farmer’s market which did not reflect on the 2019 fiscal year, as construction was completed and reflected as an expenditure in 2019, but the grant money was not received until shortly after the fiscal year ended. The city’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. 

Rosebrugh said the farmer’s market was a positive addition to the city.

“That’s where we spent the money, but it was well worth it,” Rosebrugh said, adding that while the market was not operational until mid-August, the city received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participating vendors, which she said bodes well for the future.

The city’s total net position, the amount its assets exceed its liabilities, was $3,460,515, a decrease of $94,750 from 2018. Of that, $351,836 was available to finance day-to-day operations of the city, down $49,116 from the previous year. Overall, city revenue increased by $172,510 to $1,024,549, while total expenses increased by $213,418 to $1,084,299. 

The city’s general fund, its principal operating fund, stood at $141,977 at the end of 2019, a decrease of $68,848 from 2018 which was more than recuperated by the farmer’s market grant funding. Likewise, the city’s Downtown Development Authority fund decreased by $76,509 from 2018 to a total balance of $24,994 at the end of 2019. Rosebrugh said the vast majority of the DDA’s 2019 expenditures were related to the farmer’s market as well, as it funded everything not funded by the grant, including the driveway, parking lot, seating, fencing and on-site well. 

While the farmer’s market made up the majority of the city’s increase in assets, Rosebrugh said a large portion of it was also related to street repairs in the city limits. 

City funds related to roads saw an overall increase in 2019 over the previous year. The city’s major street fund, allotted for main roads in the city excluding M-33 which is maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation, increased $38,848 to a total of $180,691; the local street fund, which covers all other streets, increased $26,191 to a total of $71,795; and the municipal street fund, which includes road millage income and can be used to supplement either of the other two road funds, increased $8,415 to a total of $102,621.  

Overall, Rosebrugh said she feels the city managed and utilized its 2019 funding in a responsible manner which will prove beneficial in the future. 

“I think (2019) went really well. We’re spending money to get our assets built,” Rosebrugh said. “Even though we spent that money, it’s going into assets as opposed to being wasted.” 

In other business, the Rose City Council voted unanimously to approve up to $750 to be spent on a new laptop with Windows 10 Pro to manage elections. Rosebrugh said the state previously paid for three laptops for the city eight to nine years ago which were in need of replacing. She said at the time the previous laptops were purchased, the city had three wards, each requiring a different laptop to manage their electronic poll books, but has since been reduced to one, so only a single laptop was needed this time.

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