During a presentation at the Meridian City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Jackson CPA Paul Breazeale told the council that significant improvements have been made in the last year.
"It was a good news report the city had a good year," said Breazeale following his presentation, "it strengthened it's financial condition, and I think there are some good financial trends, and we showed that in our report tonight."
City leaders were talking about the positive report even before the council meeting, and Mayor Cheri Barry's office released this statement Tuesday evening.
The City of Meridian received its FY 2011 Comprehensive Annual Report from Breazeale, Saunders, and O’Neil, Ld.
Mayor Barry said, “We are thrilled with the news from our independent auditor. During these tough economic times, the worst economy since the Great Depression, this is the best news we could get. I want to thank our team in finance and records and our independent auditor for their hard work on this report. Ed Skipper’s department and Paul Breazeale’s office have done a fabulous job putting this together. The City is on its way to a healthy recovery, but we still have a ways to go. We have cut expenses, held the line on taxes, while still encouraging growth.”
For FY 2011, sales tax revenue was up by 1.48%, expenses for long-term liabilities—which includes general obligation bonds, special bonds, and capital improvements—have held steady or decreased, and the general fund balance has improved to a more sustainable level.
“The true credit for this report goes to the entire City of Meridian team and the citizens of Meridian," said Barry. "For nearly three years, we have all worked hard together to turn this ship around. We have made some tough calls and we are seeing the benefits of those decisions. We’re headed in the right direction and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. I would put our financials up against any city’s financials in the state.”