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Newport annual financial report 'clean'

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news Cottage Grove, 55016
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The Newport city finances received a clean bill of health earlier this month after an accounting firm submitted the annual year-end audit report.

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Jim Eichten, a certified personal accountant and managing partner for Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich and Company, said the accounting firm prepared a financial statement that mirrored previous years with a slight improvement.

“The findings are all ones the city has received in past years,” Eichten said. “They are common findings that you will see in most cities.”

Newport recently implemented new standards according to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in an effort to improve its financial reporting, Eichten said.

As with the majority of the surrounding housing markets, the market in Newport also took a hit the last several years and saw a roughly 7 percent decline in taxable market values in 2012. Eichten said that will likely change as the housing market continues to come back.

A dramatic improvement in the intergovernmental funds was reported and the fund saw nearly a $500,000 increase, which boosts the general fund balance to just over $1.6 million.

“These are very improved financial results,” Eichten said and attributed the increase to responsible budgeting.

With an extremely dry summer, the water fund also showed a positive fund balance in 2012.

Along with a 1.7 percent, or about $40,000, decrease in annual expenditures and an Economic Development Authority budget that was less than expected, “good financial results” were reported.

“Last year was the first year the city did not go into a deficit position, unlike the previous two years,” Eichten said. “We are giving a clean opinion, which is what you were looking for and the city of Newport has done quite well when it comes to financial well being.”

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