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Alton reviews 2023 fiscal audit, PD uses Operation Stonegarden for new unit

After receiving a good-standing audit report for the fiscal year 2023, the Alton City Commission approved the first purchase using the Operation Stonegarden grant awarded to the Alton Police Department.

After the opening prayer, the Commission met with an auditor, Jenna Gonzalez, from Cascos & Associates, who has been the city’s auditor for three years.

“Page number one of the financial report is the Independent Auditor’s Report,” said Gonzalez, who reported an unmodified opinion. “This is also the most favorable opinion.”

Financial highlights, listed on page four, included three net increases: a general net increase of $4.6 million, a business net increase of $1,195,118, and a governmental activities net value increase of $3,449,440.

Gonzalez then moved on to page 13, where city operations were provided in detail. According to the audit, the city paid $3,229,554 for assets from the general fund, $1,195,133 for the 2021 Local Fiscal Recovery fund, and $8,551,474 for the TWB CO 2021 Project fund.

For Liabilities, $300,650 was the total spent from the general fund, $1,154,473 for the 2021 Local Fiscal Recovery fund, and $2,975,000 for the TWB CO 2021 Project fund.

Lastly, the fund balances remaining for the general fund were $2,595,778, then $40,660 for the 2021 LFR fund, and $5,576,474 for the TWB CO 2021 Project fund.

“Please keep in mind that the general fund of $2,595,778 is [an] unassigned fund balance,” said Gonzalez.

Mayor Salvador Vela and the Commission were pleased with the unmodified opinion.

“I would like to thank Cascos & Associates for another job well done,” said City Manager Jeff Underwood.

Afterwards, they also approved the city’s investment policy, which remains unchanged.

“We don’t have any major changes this year, but we do ask for approval,” Underwood said. It passed 4-0.

But things that are changing is equipment acquisition for the Alton PD, who got approved for the purchase of a new unit.

“At the last city meeting, the resolution was to approve a grant for Operation Stonegarden for an amount of $90,000. All that budget was to purchase a fully equipped vehicle,” Lt. Ruben Lozano said.  “We’re here today because we’re ready to purchase that vehicle.”

The 2024 Dodge Durango will be fully equipped with the tools needed for officers on patrol. The vehicle, in total, will cost $65,138.55.

Vela asked Lozano what the grant would go toward.

“Some of it is going to be for the vehicle, the rest is going to be for overtime,” Lozano said.

After, a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Office of the Criminal District Attorney of Hidalgo County was approved to distribute funds awarded through the County, and a bid for pavement work for the Sharyland Subdivision was approved.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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