By Conrad Dudderar
The City of Yukon remains on solid financial footing, city council members learned recently.
Accounting consultant Frank Crawford, president of Crawford & Associates, presented his fiscal year 2021-22 report April 18 to the Yukon City Council and administration.
“We’ve been on a ‘tear’ the last several years, as far as our financial health and success,” Crawford told Yukon city officials.
Crawford’s company uses the Performeter, a model that gauges financial health and performance of government entities across the U.S.
This model was created some 23 years ago to track financial success or failure.
Continuing an upward trend, the City of Yukon has scored 8.1 on a scale of 0-10 on the Performeter.
That’s an “extremely high” and “impressive” score, Crawford pointed out.
“There isn’t a government that exists that can score a 10,” he explained. “It’s just impossible to ‘ace’ every ratio. That government doesn’t exist.
“If it did, we would all go move there and live there. Low taxes, new infrastructure, low utility rates, no debt – that government’s not there.”
The City of Yukon’s overall 8.1 score is based on three components: Weighted financial health (7.1), performance (10) and capability/sustainability (6.3) ratios on June 30, 2022.
Yukon finances have improved steadily since the city scored just 4.8 in 2015, according to the annual Performeter report.
“We’ve stair-stepped ourselves up to a point to where we’re now performing very well and we have excellent financial health and success,” Crawford said.
The City of Yukon’s overall Performeter scores over the past 10 years have been:
- 2013: 5.2
- 2014: 5.4
- 2015: 4.8
- 2016: 5.6
- 2017: 5.5
- 2018: 6.6
- 2019: 7.0
- 2020: 7.4
- 2021: 7.6
- 2022: 8.1
A 10 score indicates excellent financial health and success while a 0 score means poor financial health and success.
A 5 score is considered satisfactory; anything below that reveals issues that need to be corrected.
The highest recorded overall score in 23 years is a 9.1, achieved twice by government entities in Oklahoma and Georgia.
OUT OF THE HOLE
Yukon city officials have used the Performeter score as a barometer of the city’s financial health and performance – which continue to steadily rise since a low-point in the mid-2010s.
“We have literally dug ourselves out of that (financial) position and nearly doubled the score,” Crawford noted. “That’s excellent.”
Back in 2014-15, the City of Yukon had depleted its reserve “rainy day” fund.
“We were actually negative,” Crawford said. “We had dug a hole, which is a terrible place to be.
“Slowly, over the next several years as revenues increased and expenditures got decreased, we dug ourselves out of the hole.”
Yukon now has a fully funded reserve account, which Crawford referred to as a 41% “unassigned fund balance cushion.”
This means the City of Yukon – even without any money being collected in the general fund – could still pay all operating expenses for almost half a year in case of a disaster or emergency.
A 10% cushion is the minimum acceptable, according to Crawford.
Since 1984, Crawford & Associates have provided professional accounting services to state and local governments.
Meanwhile, the Yukon City Council on April 18 accepted a detailed report on the City of Yukon’s fiscal year 2021-22 financial audit.
The 82-page audit report, summarized in a presentation by city auditor Chris Hein of HBC CPAs and Advisors, offered a “clean opinion” showing all numbers in the financial statements were materially correct.
“That’s the best opinion we can offer as auditors,” Hein told council members.
“I’m happy to report that there were no issues of non-compliance and there were no issues with internal control material weaknesses.”