By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
During Tuesday evening’s regular city commission meeting, Hay Rice and Associates was once again chosen to perform the audit of city funds for the year ending Dec. 31. Representatives of Hay Rice and Associates were also on hand to discuss the city’s financial situation which was discovered in the 2009 audit.
Dustin Ormiston, CPA, said not only is the City of Liberal in better financial condition than it was last year, Liberal is in better financial condition than most cities and counties statewide.
“It was a good audit,” he said. “The city is doing very well financially. They are probably doing better than most communities throughout the state.”
It is not uncommon, these days, for cities to see a loss of revenue. However, Ormiston maintains that Liberal is doing just fine.
“Bottom line, it’s because of reduced revenue,” he said. “A lot of other cities and even counties have larger debt loads as compared to their assets and revenue strains. The City of Liberal is definitely manageable with where they are at right now.”
Ormiston said the one-cent sales tax is likely to be the reason Liberal is in such sound financial shape right now. The funds collected from the tax have been used to pay for many projects – that without the tax – would not have been possible without going into some sort of debt.
“It has definitely enabled the city to do a lot of projects that otherwise would not have gotten done or the city would be in a lot rougher financial shape without it,” he said. “The city is doing a good job and financially, they are in a very good position right now.”
Ormiston along with Stephen Rice CPA were both present at Tuesday evening’s meeting not only to report on the 2009 audit findings, but to request the City of Liberal allow the company to perform the 2010 audit. The four commissioners present voted to allow Hay Rice and Associates to perform the audit for 2010. Commissioner Bob Carlile was absent.