By CHRIS AGEE
In accordance with the charter of Mineral Wells, a certified public accountant is required to audit the financial records of the city each year.
Daniel Hungerford of George, Morgan & Sneed PC, in Weatherford, presented council members with his agency’s audit of records for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
During Tuesday evening’s meeting, Hungerford said the city’s records presented municipal finances fairly and auditors did not find any discrepancies.
“The audit was a little more difficult since you didn’t have a financial director for a portion of the year,” he said, explaining John Moran was extremely helpful upon accepting the position earlier this year.
Getting into the numbers, Hungerford noted the city’s general fund saw a positive increase of about $127,000 contributing to a total unassigned fund balance of $4.135 million.
The water and sewer fund saw an increase nearly six times that of the general fund during the last fiscal year, he added.
With a total unrestricted balance of $5.817 million, Hungerford noted the water and sewer fund increased by $747,000 compared to the previous year.
He explained the airport fund, representing unrestricted net assets of $408,000, shrunk by about $119,000, making it the only fund to decrease during the period.
“A large portion of that is depreciation,” he noted. priate documentation, though he did mention some clerical oversights, likely attributable to the lack of a designated finance director.
“There were no deficiencies or weaknesses,” he said, and “no issues of noncompliance.”
Fee approved for debit/credit card bill pay
Mineral Wells Finance Director John Moran revisited the issue Tuesday of city staff charging citizens a surcharge when accepting bill payments by credit card.
He answered a question raised during a previous council meeting by indicated debit card users would also incur the 4-percent fee “because we run them through as credit.”
He explained both debit and credit card transactions cost the city money and indicated local lawmakers are authorized to charge up to a 5-percent surcharge.
The 4-percent charge would allow the city to recoup its expenses and maintain the necessary hardware to continue offering debit- and credit-card payments.
To avoid paying extra, Moran said payments made by cash, check and bank drafts will not include the charge.
Council members voted to approve the ordinance, which will go into effect 60 days after its passage to give residents prior notice of the change.
Spring Hill lots sold to developer
After soliciting bids last month for the sale of five lots in the Spring Hill addition, City Manager Lance Howerton said the city received a single bid in the amount of $73,500 from Benchmark Construction.
Since the bid meets the minimum bid price included in the specification, Howerton recommended awarding Benchmark the sale.
He said the initiative should result in the construction of five new local residences, which would add both taxable property value and additional utility revenue to the city.
Forthcoming dealership receives waiver
In response to a request by the Khoury Group, which is in the process of establishing a new automobile dealership at the intersection of N.E. 40th Avenue and U.S. Highway 180 East, council members voted to grant a conditional encroachment waiver for the use of right-of-way space.
The dealership requested the use to construct a short pipe fence within the west right-of-way of N.E. 40th Avenue, Howerton said, and the waiver would allow the city to rescind its initial approval if necessary.