Auditing firm gives City of Laconia high marks

LACONIA — The city was awarded high marks by Melanson Health & Company, its independent auditors, for both its strong financial position and sound internal controls.

Pat Mohan, who audits nearly two dozen municipalities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts each year, said that Laconia was one of only two not to receive a management letter recommending improvements in the administration of its finances and financial management. "That is a very big deal," he told the City Council last night.

Mohan pointed out that in fiscal year 2013, while revenues fell $63,966 shy of projections, expenditures were $756,155 less than budgeted, a sign of sound management by municipal departments.

Likewise, Mohan said that both the general fund and the two enterprise funds — the water fund and sanitary sewer fund — are "stable and strong." Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), chairman of the Finance Committee, noted that the ratio of annual debt service to total general fund expenditures of 6.8-percent is the lowest of the past decade. Mohan said that the water fund has minimal debt and the sanitary sewer fund none.

The total fund balance of $6,111,045 represents 11.6-percent of total general fund expenditures.

"These are positive operating results," Mohan said. "Overall the city is definitely strong."