By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Asbury Park Auditor David Kaplan presented his annual report on the 2017 Asbury Park audit saying, “Everyone should be extremely proud of the progress this city has made.”
Kaplan said both the beach utility and the parking utilities had record highs, referring to total revenues, but also said there is always room for improvement.
The beach utility was up by $100,000 with Kaplan saying it is now a self funding utility.
The parking utility ended the year with $4.8 million net balance.
“The city’s financial health is very good,” he said.
Kaplan also praised city workers for their “unbelievable amount of work.”
One area where this year’s audit differed from the 2016 audit is that it contained an “unmodified opinion” which is the highest opinion and auditor can prepare according to the state of New Jersey.
“Last year was modified, this year there is no modification to the internal report,” Kaplan said. “That’s a big improvement there.”
When an audit has a modified opinion it means the entity being audited receives a corrective action plan for inefficiencies in the processes used.
Kaplan said the city’s surplus is also bigger than the previous year’s.
“It was a team effort by the governing body to have vision, and for the administration to carry it out,” he said.
As far as bonds held by the city, the 1.7 percent debt ratio is well below the maximum allowed.
“The debt load is right in line of minimum or maximum,” Kaplan said.
The current fund budget is $47 million with no overage expenditures.
Kaplan said the state net pension liability for the city with a net $16 million is down $3 million on the Public Employees Retirement System, one of the state pension funds, alone. Corrective actions plans were issued for federally funded programs with seven findings including Community Development Block Grant, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, Sewer Rents, Hotel Occupancy and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses.