MARINETTE — The City of Marinette and its water and wastewater utilities are in good financial standing, according to a 2017 financial audit report presentation Wednesday from Kerber Rose, Certified Public Accountants. 

Karen Kerber presented the audit reports on behalf of Kerber Rose and laid out the city’s current assets and liabilities. As of the end of 2017, the city’s current assets, which “represent things that you either have in hand at that time, or things you would expect to get the benefit from within one year,” sit at $29.3 million. Non-current assets, or basic hard assets such as infrastructure and equipment, sit at $33.2 million. In total, the city has about $62.5 million in assets. 

As for liabilities, Kerber said the city’s current liabilities, or debts that need to be paid out within a year, total about $4.4 million. Its non-current liabilities, debts to be paid over a longer term, total $22.4 million. In total, the city has about $26.8 million in liabilities. 

“That leaves you with the net position, which, really, when you look at that, that’s where you can focus and kind of look at what the long-term health of the city is,” Kerber said. “So as you look at the net investment in capital assets, it’s about $17.7 million.” 

That number is found by taking the non-current assets and subtracting any outstanding debt used to finance those assets, she added. 

“When it’s a positive number like you see there, really what it’s indicative of is your assets are holding their lives very well in relationship to the amount of debt that you borrowed, and also that you’re not tending to borrow long-term for short-term needs,” Kerber said. “So that’s a good indication, to see a good, positive number there.” 

Kerber also walked the council through the balance sheet for the city, which does not take into account non-current assets or long-term debts and is meant for short-term planning and budgeting. The unassigned general fund balance for the City of Marinette sits at about $6.3 million. Kerber did point out that the fund balance may go down in 2018, as the city did borrow some money to build the Community REC Center that has not been spent yet. 

Finally, Kerber ran through the city’s borrowing stance. 

“As of the end of December, you could have borrowed about $34.7 million, if you had so chosen,” she said of the city’s decision to borrow money last year in order to help fund the Community REC Center. “Again, there was pretty significant borrowing of general obligation debt of about $17.5 million, but as of the end of the year, counting against that debt limit, was about $22.8 million. So you could borrow additional monies up to $11.9 million, but you certainly don’t want to push yourself up against that cap.” 

The City Council and the Water & Wastewater Utilities Commissions both approved the audit reports unanimously. Ward 1 Alderman Ken Keller then asked what sort of interest rates the city would be looking at if it chose to borrow more money. Kerber said she did not have that answer. 

In other business, the City Council: 

¦ Heard a favorable report from Mayor Steve Genisot regarding this year’s Logging & Heritage Festival. According to preliminary numbers, the festival drew in nearly 8,000 visitors to its events and activities. A final report will be presented to the city’s Finance & Insurance Committee on a later date. Genisot also announced that longtime festival chair Judy Alwin, also known as the Marinette Welcome Center manager, had officially retired. 

¦ Received an update from Genisot regarding a number of fishing tournaments which are interested in hosting events in the area, including the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour and Master’s Walleye Tour, the Sheboygan Walleye Group and a number of others. 

“We could have a packed summer of fishing events,” Genisot said. The proposed tournaments will be discussed at the committee level.