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Cordele’s 2020 audit shows big improvement

By Neil B. McGahee

Managing Editor

The Cordele City Commission received a welcome message from auditor, Miller Edwards of Mauldin & Jenkins Accounting, who said although the city has a ways to go, the 2020 audit was a big improvement over past audits.

“You got through 2020 and I feel pretty good about 2021,” Edwards said. “When looking at the overall entity, this is the big picture financial statement showing all the funds. You have $35 million in assets, that’s assets, not cash. You have $2.9 million in cash and $1.2 million in investments. You have $8.5 million in liabilities — $ 7 million of it is long-term debt — so that gives you an equity of about $27.5 million.

“You had $19.3 million in expenses across all venues within city government and you took in $19.3 million so you broke even.”

Edwards said there is about $700,000 in the general fund. The proprietary funds — water/sewer; natural gas and sanitation and health benefits. The water/sewer fund has about $275,000 in cash and investments, while the natural gas fund has about $600,000. The sanitation fund has $6,000 to $7,000 so there is a balance of about $900,000 across those funds.

“One thing that gets my attention, and has for several years, is natural gas,” he said. “Last year, the natural gas fund took in about $1.6 million but we spent $2.1 million. That’s a $500,000 loss. We need to take a close look at natural gas and decide what’s going on and what isn’t.”

Edwards said Cordele is one of a few governments that still provide natural gas.

Read more in Saturday’s e-edition