Staff members earned praise from councilors Tuesday night when the city was given a clean bill of financial health from auditors.
"I really appreciate someone from the outside coming in and saying 'we give you the best opinion possible,'" Councilor Tom Gilchrist told city staff members.
Bert Bondi, CPA and senior partner in Bondi & Co. of Englewood, pronounced the city's accounting methods sound and free from error.
"This is a clean opinion," he said. "We did not take exception to any number in any fund, and that's the best you can get."
The city finished 2003 with $39,962,363 in total assets and $2,547,048 in liabilities.
"That's a pretty good ratio," Bondi said.
Of that total, $28 million is tied in fixed assets -- roads, equipment and water lines.
The city spent $446,252 of its reserves in 2003, providing $10,803,725 in services and generating $5,136,326 in revenue from fees and grants.
"You didn't violate your budget, so obviously you planned to do that, but you can't do that forever," Bondi said of dipping into reserves.
The city's general fund -- which operates primarily on sales-tax revenue -- contributed $5,667,399 to programs and services.
In other business, the council:
n Authorized the payment of $547,132 in bills for September.
n Awarded a $7,455 bid to Masterworks Mechanical for the installation of a snowmelt system at the water loading station. Mayor Dave DeRose, owner of Masterworks, excused himself from the discussion and abstained from voting. Two bids were submitted. The second, from Shepherd and Sons, was for $11,998, which included electrical work and two boilers. Masterworks' bid was for one boiler, which City Engineer Bill Earley said would be adequate.
n Renewed the retail liquor store license for Dark Horse Discount Liquor, 1520 W. Victory Way, for Clyde Hettinger; no cause shown for denial.
n Renewed the tavern liquor license for the O.P. Bar N' Grill for Delbert Knez at 534 E. Victory Way; no cause shown for denial.
n Renewed the hotel and restaurant liquor license for the Ocean Pearl, 441 W. Victory Way; no cause shown for denial.
n Renewed the hotel and restaurant liquor license for Cassidy's, Craig Holiday Inn, 200 S. Highway 13; no cause shown for denial.
n Issued special events liquor license for the Elks Lodge #1577, 43 W. Victory Way, for the annual Veterans Day Dinner.
n Approved a temporary retail liquor store license for Irvin's, LLC for Darrel and Ann Irvin. The Irvins are purchasing Loadout Liquors, 1800 W. Victory Way.