Auditor’s report highlights strong financials

An audit report from Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith LLC highlighted Pelham's strong financials from the 2013 fiscal year. (File)

An audit report from Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith LLC highlighted Pelham’s strong financials from the 2013 fiscal year. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Accounting firm Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith LLC praised Pelham’s strong financials for the 2013 fiscal year during a recent audit report.

“Our assets grew significantly,” Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said. “We’re building revenues for the future.”

In the report, Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith LLC highlighted Pelham’s financial gains, including more than $31 million in revenue, exceeding expenses by almost $2.2 million. Additionally, the city’s net assets sat at more than $84.5 million at the close of the 2013 fiscal year.

In addition to the points highlighted in the audit report, Hayes noted the city’s low debt.

“Our total debt is very low compared to our debt limit,” Hayes said, adding a “high percentage” is “very short term.”

The city is currently in the process of applying for a bond credit rating, a first for the city.

“We’ve never had to do this before,” Hayes said, adding due to the city’s “strong financials” he expects the rating to be on the “border of very very good and unbelievably good.”

During a June 2 meeting, the City Council decided to enter into a partnership with the city’s Board of Education, allowing the school system to use the city’s credit rating to secure lower rates when issuing bonds to fund capital projects.

Additionally, Hayes said a bond credit rating will help the city determine which capital projects to borrow for, noting several water and sewer projects, including replacement of PVC pipe with ductile iron pipe.

“We’ve have big things coming that need to be done… for the city long term,” Hayes said.