This week the city of Mission held a special council meeting over Zoom to discuss the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and extended the disaster declaration caused by COVID-19.
The CAFR included an audit on the budget and operations of the city, and was conducted by the financial department and Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC (as engaged by the city of Mission). Wednesday, April 29, Certified Public Accountants Ruben Moreno and Esmeralda Yniguz presented CRI’s findings.
“It was a difficult journey to get here, but we finally completed last year’s audit,” Moreno said, citing the novel coronavirus as the reason for a delay in presenting. “We’re already thinking about next year, and we’ll be starting three months earlier so we won’t be rushing like we are now.”
The report covered the city up to the end of the last fiscal year, Sept. 30, 2019. Yniguez presented the results of the audit as well as highlights of the city’s CAFR.
The audit of the city’s basic financial statements, which consists of governmental activities, business-type activities, aggregate component units and each major fund, which includes the general fund, debt service, 2018 capital projects, utility, golf course and solid waste funds, the aggregate remaining funds and the related notes to the financial statements.
The total revenues in the general fund for the year were $37,136,270, which was comparable to the prior year according to Yniguez. The total expenses for the general fund were $42,019,514, which she said was a reduction of expenditures of $2.1 million from the prior year.
For the total governmental funds, the revenues listed were $52,158,680. In the expenditures side, the total governmental funds ended up at $65,077,017, which was a reduction of $2.2 million from the year prior.
The net change of fund balance was presented. Yniguez said that although the net change of the fund balance was still in the negative (by $362,597), it was actually an improvement from last year’s report, which stated a negative general fund balance of $2.7 million.
The total governmental funds had a net change of $7.2 million in the positive, which was attributed to a new fund the city had this year (the 2018 Capital Projects Fund).
At the end of the last fiscal year, the total general fund balance was $3,028,176. The total governmental funds were $17,480,093.
The presentation also included six different improvement points CRI suggested Mission implement.
The points related to controls over information technology, policies and procedures, the city’s controls over capital assets, pension and OPED, internal control over financial reporting and the recording of long-term debt and related capital assets.
City Manager Randy Perez noted that the city staff were already working on the improvement suggestions, and they would have a plan ready to implement in the next couple of weeks.
Council member Ruben Plata asked if other council members had received the full audit for their review prior to the meeting, as he had just received the summary. Perez said they had sent the city council the full audit last Fri. April 24, along with earlier Wednesday afternoon before the special meeting, but noted that they had been having some difficulty with their email system.
Council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa said she had received both the summary and the audit last Friday and this Wednesday. Plata apologized for not having seen or received it, but noted that because he hadn’t gotten the chance to review the audit in full he did not feel comfortable approving the CAFR.
Ortega-Ochoa asked if they would be able to hold off on the approval so Plata would have time to review the audit, but Perez said the financial department wanted to ensure they met the deadline for their annual award for financial reporting, which is at the end of the month of April (this week).
Following the entire presentation, council members Beto Vela, Ortega-Ochoa, Mayor Pro-Tem Norie Gonzalez Garza and Mayor Armando O’caña voted to approve the CAFR as presented. Plata voted against it.
The city council will be holding an additional workshop to go over the report in full, with any additional questions, in May.
Perez presented Resolution #1662, which extended the disaster declaration in the city through May 30.
Perez also presented Resolution #1661, which amended the resolutions and adopted the state of Texas emergency order and Hidalgo County order going beyond the end of April. The orders include the implementation of new subsequent measures enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mission adopted Governor Greg Abbott’s report, and it will remain in effect until May 15, 2020, or until a subsequent order is issued.