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Seymour receives feedback on 2020 audit report

By Rich Palzewic
Staff Writer

SEYMOUR – At its May 10 meeting, the Seymour city council heard from Greg Pitel, an auditor with KerberRose on the city’s 2020 financial status.

“Overall, the city is in great shape,” said Pitel. “We encountered no difficulties with the audit, and any proposed financial adjustments are indicated in the financial statements you have before you. We also had no disagreements with management, so that’s positive.”

Greg Pitel from KerberRose speaks to the Seymour city council May 10 about the city’s 2020 audit. Rich Palzewic Photo

Mayor Ryan Kraft said any findings through the audit have been recommendations made in the past.

“We’ve always felt comfortable with our procedures and how we do things here,” he said. “We have monthly meetings with the finance committee and go through a rigorous process with the payment of bills.”

Pitel said the general fund balance during 2020 decreased about $41,000.

“The general fund balances decreased slightly, but the budget reflected a decrease of $106,000, so essentially, the city had a positive performance of about $65,000 against the budget,” he said. “This allows the city to not have to borrow money in the short term.”

The City of Seymour is carrying only about 10% of its debt capacity.

“I’m always interested to see what other municipalities of our size carry as far as their debt capacity,” said Kraft. “We’re operating at an extremely low percentage of our debt capacity.”

Pitel said the city is “doing extremely well” compared to other municipalities of similar size.

“I see other municipalities in the 33 to 35% with their debt capacity,” he said.

Village Administrator Sean Hutchinson said having a low debt capacity is not the only thing to look at.

“Some municipalities have higher debt capacity because they’ve purchased new equipment or done lots of improvements to their city,” he said. “It’s apples to apples in comparison. Some cities heavily invest in the city, but if you have too little debt, it might mean we’re not investing in the infrastructure and city enough. It’s a fine balance, and we have to have a good understanding of it.”

Kraft said that’s always been a tricky area for Seymour.

“That’s always been tough for us because of our mill rate,” he said. “Absent of any new development, taking on additional debt capacity would significantly impact taxes.”

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