Results from an independent audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021 showed that Sterling Heights continues to manage its finances very well.
City Controller Nick Makie presented the audit to the Mayor and City Council Tuesday. Makie said independent auditors Plante Moran once again issued the City an “unmodified” opinion as part of its audit process - the highest rating possible. In addition, for the 33rd consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recognized the City for its excellence in financial reporting and budgeting.
Plante Moran commended the City for following its long-term financial plan and continuing to live within its budget. Plante Moran further commented on the strength of the budgeting process which has allowed the City to continue to contribute to fund reserves at levels above the median. The accounting firm highlighted the progress the City has made by proactively addressing earned legacy costs. The funding levels on pension and retiree medical plans increased significantly during the year and are in a healthy position. The condition of the books and records were in great shape with no journal entries identified during the audit.
“Long-term financial planning has enabled to City to weather the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic and continue to invest in the community through major road reconstruction efforts, neighborhood road improvements, recreational assets and place making amenities; invest in infrastructure by replacing capital equipment and upgrading and repairing City facilities; and invest in employees by continuing to offer competitive wages and benefits and fully fund long-term retirement liabilities. This has all been accomplished while maintaining a City tax rate that remains one of the lowest of any city in Macomb County and an excellent AA credit rating from Standard & Poor. Prudent budgeting with a commitment to funding the highest priorities and maintaining a strong fund balance will ensure the City’s financial stability into the future,” said City Finance & Budget Director Jennifer Varney.
“I commend our entire Finance team for their diligent work throughout the year resulting in the favorable audit results,” said City Manager Mark Vanderpool. “They continue to do excellent work and are among the best in the business.”
A copy of the complete audit is available online at sterling-heights.net.