Additionally, the city's income statement shows that total operating revenue climbed from $31.9 million in 2006 to $33.6 million in 2007 while non-operating revenue fell from $3.6 million to $2.8 million. Operating expenses also rose from $30.9 million to $34 million in the same period. At the end of fiscal year 2007, the fund balance stood at $52.5 million - up from $44.6 in 2006.
The management discussion and analysis portion of the audit called the fund balance increase significant and indicated the city's financial status is improving.
"However, the fund balance only slightly increased," according to the analysis. "For the city and WMU, problems exist for the general day-to-day operating revenues and expenses, exclusive of all other funds, revenues, grants, etc. For both the city and WMU, revenue is not keeping up with expenses."
The analysis also notes construction of WMU's new wastewater treatment plant, its $55 million consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the need for more water supply.
"WMU faces a host of issues that need to be addressed," the analysis says.
Among the major projects that were started or completed in the 2007 fiscal year were the $93,000 Denny Avenue Curb and Gutter Project, numerous paving projects and more than $68,000 of improvements to City Hall buildings for the city's police, fire-EMS and public works departments. The North Main Storm Sewer Improvement Project was completed in fiscal year 2008.
The audit also identifies several upcoming projects, including the pool project at College Park Gym and drainage projects in Fort Estill Subdivision, on Boone and Belmont avenues and on Short Street.
Only one finding was included in the audit, suggesting that no one on staff has sufficient knowledge to meet generally accepted accounting principals in financial reporting. But city officials responded that they plan to take corrective action.
After the meeting, Mayor Ed Burtner said the audit demonstrates the professionalism of city staff and their ability to accurately account for the city's finances.
"I think we have a clear picture of where we stand - It's exactly where we knew the city to be when talked about budget issues during this past year," he said. "We have some challenges, we have some issues and difficulties that we have to confront, but for the most part the city is in fairly good shape."