Audit: McCook per capita costs lower than average

Thursday, February 9, 2023

McCOOK, Neb. — Compared to similar-sized cities, the City of McCook's per capita costs on average are lower, according to a CPA whose company recently audited the city’s financial statements.

Financial highlights from a recent audit were presented Monday night at the city council meeting via zoom, by a representative of AMGL CPAs and Advisors.

She reviewed for the council City of McCook per person costs compared to peer cities, also called recommended costs, including costs in valuations, city department expenses and income/revenue for water, sewer and solid waste. She also briefly outlined the full audit report with the council.

Per capita costs of recommended costs/comparable cities, followed by the City of McCook per capita costs in 2022, include:

Valuation: $3.47 million recommended; McCook, $4.56 million. Per person costs: $65,19 recommended; McCook, $61,361.

Top sources of revenue, and governmental activities:

Sales tax: $290 recommended; McCook, $404; grants and contributions, $230 recommended; McCook, $201; property taxes, $254 recommended; McCook, $220; state allocation, $169 recommended, $247 in McCook.

Per person costs, levy rates: 0.38 recommended, $241 per capita; McCook, 0.349, $214 per capita.

Per person costs, operating income/total operating revenue:

Water fund, 15% recommended, 8.35% in McCook; sewer fund, 15% recommended, 28.44% in McCook; Solid waste fund, 15% recommended, 2.43% in McCook. Per-person costs vary over time due to repairs but 15% is recommended for cash reserves for capital replacement.

The top revenue source to the city is sales and use tax, 27%, followed by state allocation, 17%; property tax, 15%; utility transfers, 14%; grants and contributions, 13%; charges for services, 6%; other taxes and fees, 5%’ interest and other, 3%.

Public safety was the top expense to the city in governmental activities, at 39%, followed by public works, 21%; environment and leisure, 18%; general government, 17% economic development, 5%.

Per person costs for each city department, with McCook’s cost per capita followed by the recommended amount in parenthesis, are:

administration, $95 ($90); fire, $153 ($70): the higher cost is due to McCook being one of the few cities its size with paid firefighters, compared to similar-sized cities with volunteer staff; cemetery, $27 ($25); ambulance, $18 ($15); airport, $18, ($30), handi bus, $24 ($10); pool, $1 ($30); park, $7 ($60); library, $45 ($60); civil defense, $1 ($2); planning, $11 (20); police, $250 ($220); senior center, $59 ($30); auditorium, $6 ($35); health operating and perpetual care, $106 ($65).

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