NEWS HEADLINES

City receives ‘unqualified’ audit

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, March 22, 2014

Despite what it might imply, Bridgeport city officials liked the “unqualified” audit it heard about during the annual report Tuesday.

“An unqualified audit is a good thing,” City Administrator Brandon Emmons said.

Lewis Crane with Rutledge, Crane and Co., the firm who conducts the audit, told the council the city was in “sound financial shape.”

“I always look at the fund balance in the general fund and compare it to your expenditures … You need to keep 25 percent or 90 days (of expenditures) in there,” he said. “You’ve got about 69 percent. So you are well-funded in the general fund, which is a grandfather to the other funds.”

He added that the electric, water and sewer funds have a net operating income, which is “always good.”

Crane suggested that instead of mixing all grant money in one “special revenue” account, the money be allotted to the corresponding department.

“They need to be broken up,” he said. ” … Grant money for water and sewer projects to the water and sewer fund, EDC grant money to the EDC fund, etc. … It segregates the money and makes it easier to track.”

PARK BUSINESS

Pets, alcoholic beverages, drugs and the smoking of tobacco products are now prohibited at Lawdwin Ball Fields.

On Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance outlining these restrictions.

Service animals, however, are allowed.

The changes are effective immediately. Temporary signage was to be posted.

City officials also renewed a facility use agreement with the Bridgeport Youth Association.

Under the agreement, which was first adopted in February 2012, the city provides BYA the sports fields and associated maintenance for games and practices.

In turn, BYA is responsible for providing the parks and rec department with a schedule 14 days in advance, conducting background checks on coaches and officials, keeping the facility clean after each league activity and leaving Wednesdays open for any team to practice.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council also:

  • briefly discussed the development of a Veterans Park, noting the need to include a parking lot. City officials are to meet with Lions Club members, who are planning a first responders memorial, to collaborate. “It’s something that we need to do,” Mayor Keith McComis said. “It’s a good way to show our appreciation.”
  • reviewed and approved again the city’s investment policy, which was first adopted last April. Cities are required to adopt a written investment policy that includes a broad statement describing its scope and purpose, a list of authorized investments and the permitted maximum maturity.
  • approved designating in the budget $1,550.95 from the Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (LEOSE) for police officer training.
  • granted a special exception on the sidewalk requirement for property in the 2000 block of Stevens Street in the Stagecoach Addition. According to the city’s engineering design manual, sidewalks must be constructed with the paving of street or when building construction occurs in residential areas. However, there is no other home with sidewalks in the housing division where the property in question is located.
  • OK’d the temporary closure of 15th Street from the intermediate school to Edison Street, Edison Street from 15th Street to 13th Street, 13th Street from Edison Street to Newby Street, Newby Street from 13th Street to Lawdwin Avenue and Lawdwin Avenue to the intermediate school for the BIS fun run Friday, May 2.
  • approved temporarily closing Cates Street between Ninth and 10th streets May 5-11 for the Butterfield Stage Days carnival and 10th Street from Cates Street to the entrance of Bridgeport Building Center for the Butterfield Stage Days festival.
  • reviewed the March 6-19 payment report in the amount of $772,354.77.
  • approved the March 4 meeting minutes.

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