The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Blythe’s Finances Improving

January 31, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – City officials announced today that the draft financial audit for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 reflects that the General Fund ended the year in the black for a third, consecutive year! With the City’s decade-old fiscal problem, this is very encouraging news for the City’s beleaguered finances.

What’s more, it should be noted that this three-year period of 2009-2011 was the first such stretch of time in thirteen years that the City’s budget ended three consecutive years with positive fund balances! The last time this feat was achieved was during the years 1996-1998. Doubly impressive is the fact that the budget continues to make positive advances during what is arguably the worst economy since the Great Depression.

This year’s gain was smaller than those achieved in the two previous years, however, and much of that can be attributed to the fact that two local businesses did not forward revenue to the City as required by law. As such, legal actions had to be initiated against both businesses. The cost of those actions, combined with the actual monetary loss as a result of the businesses withholding City funds, cut sharply into the positive fund balance.

More specifically, the new fund balance was a positive $54,995. Although any positive number is good, it should have been higher. Had the aforementioned businesses actually followed the law, that number would have been closer to $200,000.

In summary, the budget problem of $3.4 million identified in the 2008 audit is now down to approximately $2.4 million. That is still a very large hole, and the City continues to struggle with having no extra disposable income, no reserves whatsoever, and with cash flow issues, however the positive trend in improving the City’s finances continues.

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