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Manager: Locust in good financial shape

When presenting the November financial report Thursday night, Locust City Administrator Cesar Correa noted more than 50 percent of the budgeted revenues for the current fiscal year have been collected.

He went on to report that the city’s annual audit is complete and ready to be submitted.

“We are in compliance,” he stated.

Correa noted that according to the audit, the city’s net position has increased by slightly more than $1 million in the past year and its fund balance has increased by $318,000. This accounts for a total fund balance of $2.6 million, of which $1.9 million is in reserve for emergency use or appropriations by council.

“We have 72 percent of annual operating expenses available in fund balance,” said Correa, who also noted that the city has retired $419,000 in debt during the preceding fiscal year.

“The city is in very good financial position,” he said.

Mayor Steve Huber reported that the city’s annual Christmas parade was a success, and that pre-registration for the “Breakfast with Santa” event is full.

Correa presented a proposed interlocal agreement with Stanly County for water and sewer services. Under the agreement, sewer from city of Locust properties located in Cabarrus County would be collected by Locust and treated by Stanly County. The agreement was approved unanimously.

As part of the Public Safety report, Councilman Roger Hypes commended the city’s police force for its pride and efficiency, noting this is evidenced by the department’s “stability, consistency, morale and low turnover.” He cited the recent Shop with a Cop program as a “huge success.”

Correa expressed thanks to council and city staff for their assistance and support during his absence for the birth of his first child the previous week.

During the council comment period, all council members thanked those in attendance for their interest and support, and wished all a merry Christmas and happy 2019.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a number of purchase orders and budget amendments;

• Approved the 2019 holiday schedule for city employees

• was informed that a new restaurant, Outfitters, would be opening in February in the former Fresh House site.

The next meeting of the council will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Locust Government Center.