Bellevue's Financial Position is Solid, Auditor Reports

The City of Bellevue's finances were applauded in its recent annual audit, presented to city council on Wednesday.

The auditing form of Van Gorder, Walker & Company offered an "unqualified opinion" of the city's financial operations. "And that's the highest opinion that we give. It's what we call a clean opinion," said John Chamberlain, of the auditing firm. No significant deficiencies were found in the city's internal controls, the report said.

Bellevue has $2.5 million in cash, which is up slightly from last year. "A rule of thumb for municipal governments, we like to say, is to have about three months of operating cash on hand," Chamberlain said. "For you guys, three months would be about $1.1 million, so you have about seven months. That's a really good cash position for the city to be in."

Meanwhile, the city's proprietary fund has been dropping. Currently there is about seventeen months of coverage. "You may want to take a look at that and see if you can find what the root cause of that is. It's nothing to be alarmed about but you have a five-year pattern that if you go another five years, it would be in the red," Chamberlain said, adding that a new bond would help.

City Administrator Keith Speolker said that the city's proprietary funds include urban renewal grants and Port of Bellevue funding. "We had a large balance the first two to three years I was here due to a (Certificate of Deposit) that was cashed and we've been drawing off that," Spoelker said. "It's been a concern between our conversations, how do we refresh that."

Spoelker also said that the grants have been put to good use, including the renovation of formerly neglected buildings that now house businesses that create jobs. "We're taking that grant money and turning it into general fund revenue as much as we can, but we need to replenish it to keep that engine driving," Spoelker said.

Other notes from council:

  • The City of Dayton approved the changes to the joint fire department board approved by Bellevue in December, the city council noted, so those changes will be put in place this year. Dayton Council Members Penny Hurtt and Kathy Volter resigned from the Bellevue-Dayton Fire Board and will be replaced by Dayton Council Members Virgil Boruske and Jerry Gifford. A Dayton member will serve as chair in 2014 since Bellevue Councilman Matt Olliges was chair in 2013.
  • Police Chief Wayne Turner said that he learned at a meeting of the Campbell County Police Chiefs Association that 1,074 felony indictments were made in the county in 2013. Turner said that a busy year is usually around 500.
  • The next council meeting will be February 26 so that city leaders can attend an event with the Kentucky League of Cities on the date the meeting was originally scheduled.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Bellevue