By EMMA BARTLETT Cranston Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins announced on Dec. 20 that the City of Cranston ended the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 with a combined City and Schools $3,008,000 operating surplus. The City surplus totaled nearly $700,000 and the
Cranston Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins announced on Dec. 20 that the City of Cranston ended the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 with a combined City and Schools $3,008,000 operating surplus.
The City surplus totaled nearly $700,000 and the Schools reported finished the fiscal year with a greater than $2,300,000 surplus. According to a release issued by the administration last week, these results reflect the strong financial practices of City leadership, especially during the serious financial challenges resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
“This good news for the Cranston taxpayers was relayed to the City Council at its regular council meeting this evening by my finance team and auditing firm, Marcum LLP,” Hopkins said in a statement. Each year the City Council, pursuant to Cranston Charter Section 3.21, engages the services of a certified public accounting firm to perform an annual audit for the previous fiscal year.
“Almost a year ago when I took office, I pledged that my top priority would be to protect Cranston taxpayers and properly manage their money.” Hopkins continued, “We hit the ground running, continued to implement sound financial practices and have received an unqualified opinion of good fiscal management.”
Hopkins said, “I take seriously my responsibility to insure the proper and effective spending of taxpayer funds. Our current budget is $311 million budget and requires daily effective leadership to live within our means and keep the cost of our city government down for the taxpayers.”
The City’s $700,000 augments the unassigned account surplus, or rainy day fund, that now stands at $9 million said Anthony C. Moretti, Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s office. He said the fund could be tapped for emergencies. In addition, he explained, the reserve is considered by rating agencies when the city seeks to sell bonds. A stronger financial position serves to reduce bond interest rates, thereby lowering the cost of borrowing for capital improvements and the cost to taxpayers.
As for the Schools’ $2,300,000, Moretti said, the funds can potentially be used for repairs such as leaky roofs or any type of necessary patchwork.
Mayor Hopkins expressed his appreciation to Finance Director Robert Strom and City Controller Michael Igoe and the entire finance department for their efforts to keep Cranston in strong financial shape.
Hopkins also expressed his appreciation to city employees “who each day dedicate themselves to helping residents and keeping the wheels of government running. We all recognize that working in the last twenty-one months, during this historic pandemic, has been a great challenge for local businesses, restaurants, schools and governments,” said Hopkins.
He said, “We will continue best practices to wisely invest tax dollars, keep spending in check and keep taxes affordable for all residents and families.”
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