The City of Noblesville recently released its year-end annual report. The report details major accomplishments from every city department and within the community during 2016, and each week, Current in Noblesville will be highlighting a portion of the report. This week, it’s the office of the office of the financial controller. To see the full report, visit bit.ly/2lDGclL.
The controller’s office became a new department in 2016 as the clerk-treasurer position was separated into two different offices: the elected city clerk and the appointed controller. The controller’s office oversees the city’s finances and handles the annual budgets.
One focus of the new office was to review dual control policies and procedures within the city. Dual control is a risk-management concept that reduces losses due to accounting errors and prevents employee theft. Under dual control, two people count the valuables at various points in the work process, i.e., upon transferring responsibility for a cash drawer, transferring cash from one department to another, or when balancing out for the day. As a way to provide more financial transparency, the city says it is working with OpenGov to create a new standard in Noblesville for how it plans, operates and communicates with elected officials, staff and citizens. The city also is converting its payroll software so it becomes more streamlined and efficient.
Mike Hendricks served as the city’s financial controller through 2016, and Jeffrey Spalding was hired as the new controller earlier this year, starting in the role Feb. 27.
The City of Noblesville has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report for 17 consecutive years, dating back to 1999.
As Noblesville was designated a Class 2 City in 2016, the clerk’s office became an independent department. The office is held by Evelyn Lees, who began her first term in 2016. The clerk keeps agendas and minutes for the Noblesville Common Council, all council committees and the Noblesville Board of Public Works. The office manages city ordinance records, Riverside Cemetery records and grave site sales. The clerk also serves as the official clerk of Noblesville City Courts.
The Noblesville Common Council approved the city’s 2017 budget at its Oct. 25 meeting. The 2017 proposed budget totals $70,661,478, with a general fund budget of $46,273,223. In previous years, the city has budgeted 100 percent of its COIT funds to the General Fund. In 2017, the city has budgeted just 59 percent ($10.5 million) of COIT. The remaining amount will be available in the Rainy Day Fund if needed by council appropriation. The budget allows the hiring of 11 full-time positions and one part-time position (deputy clerk). City employees received a 2 percent raise, the first pay increase in three years. In 2016, Noblesville was unable to collect $4.1 million of property taxes due to circuit breaker tax caps. The expected loss for 2017 is projected to be $3.689 million. In 2017, public safety accounts for 56 percent of the overall operational budget, up from 53 percent in 2016. The budget includes $2.35 million for road resurfacing and sidewalk/trail improvements.
GENERAL FUND REVENUES: 2016 AMOUNT
- Property taxes: $18,894,442
- Property tax circuit breaker: -$2,666,000
- County option income tax (COIT): $16,808,268
- Licenses and permits: $1,413,987
- Inter-governmentaL: $2,044,075
- Charges for services: $3,072,897
- Fines and forfeits: $362,883
- Other revenues: $2,854,012
- Total revenues: $42,584,564