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Great News: City of Hornell Receives Clean Audit

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Drescher & Malecki Give “A” Grade for City Finances

From the City of Hornell,

The Hornell Common Council was presented with the annual city audit report at their September meeting. The presentation was provided by Matthew Montalbo from Drescher & Malecki. The comprehensive review and report covered the City’s financial status for the for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

“Our auditors review a complete financial picture, including compliance with federal and state funding requirements, such as those from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). There were no concerns and we were issued a clean opinion, which is the best you can do from an audit stand point,” noted Montalbo.

Montalbo delved into the City’s financial health, providing insights and trends from previous years, as well to other municipalities. When examining a five-year trend, the City of Hornell was noted to be following a similar path to many of other municipalities surveyed. “With federal COVID-related funding and better-than-anticipated sales tax revenue, the City’s revenues exceeded expenses,” noted Montalbo. The additional revenues have bolstered the City’s unassigned fund balance, which allows for increased flexibility and use to maintain operations smoothly.

Mayor John Buckley applauded the City’s responsible fiscal management and expressed gratitude to City Chamberlain Michele Smith, City Department Heads, and the Common Council for their financial stewardship. “Michele Smith does an outstanding job managing the City’s finances, and the dedication of our department heads and Council members is evident in these results. This financial stability comes at an opportune time with rising inflation, various capital requirements such as vehicles, and ongoing Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and infrastructure projects. We have improved our spending flexibility to meet these demands and address further needs. And there is never a shortage of needs,” stated Buckley.

City Chamberlain Michele Smith shared her thoughts on the audit, saying, “The audit process went smoothly with no findings again this year. I am pleased that the City remains in a financially stable position which will allow us to effectively manage the increasing expenses we face.”

Montalbo also reviewed audit findings for the City’s Water Fund and Library Fund, “While slightly different trends were noted for the Water and Library funds, both remain in stable position with modest or break-even fund balance additions. The water fund is balanced and similarly, the Library fund is raising enough revenue to sustain operations.”

Melissa Ponticello, First Ward Alderwoman and Finance Committee Chairwoman, expressed her views on the audit and the City’s financial outlook, stating, “This year, our positive audit shows how dedicated our City is to maintaining focused and controlled spending. We continue to have the best interests of our City in our financial decisions.”

The presentation concluded with Mayor Buckley asking Montalbo to assign a letter grade to the audit’s performance. Montalbo responded, “I would assign an “A” letter grade. Anytime you have an unmodified review, without any findings, that’s an ‘A’. It doesn’t get better than that.”

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