Girard auditor optimistic about city’s financial standing, despite fund deficits

By Sarah Lehr


City Auditor Sam Zirafi is optimistic about the city’s financial future despite several fund deficits.

Going into this year, the overall unexpended balance, aggregated from all funds, was $1,735,680 in the black. Meanwhile, the city registered deficits of $114,347 in the general fund and $218,885 in the water fund.

The auditor, however, has said on several occasions he believes the city can eliminate that red ink by 2018.

The water-fund deficit, for instance, is less than half of what is was at the start of 2016, when the city recorded a $461,142 deficit. The city also entered 2016 with a $96,197 general-fund deficit.

“The fund I’m going to be paying most attention to is the general fund,” Zirafi said at Monday night’s city council meeting. “We either need to look at a definitive, long-term reduction of expenses or a definitive, long-term increase of revenues or a combination of the two.”

The general fund can be used to subsidize other funds.

“I think that all options have to be discussed,” Zirafi said. “You can be proactive and say, ‘What we’re about to do may not be popular, but it’s financially correct.’”

Council will introduce legislation to set yearly appropriations for the year during the next regular meeting, beginning 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

Council will further discuss finances during a 6:30 p.m. committee meeting Feb. 27.

The city was in state-designated fiscal emergency from 2001 to 2012.

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