Manti finishes fiscal year with surplus, completed projects

MANTI—Manti City fiscal 2020-21 ended in great shape, City Manager Kent Barton reported to the city council on Wednesday, July 28. 

With moderate surpluses in the General Fund, Electric Fund, and Municipal Building Authority, Manti is in sound financial shape for the coming year, his report indicated.

During the year, the city also completed several large projects using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and previously reserved funds. 

“Our cash flow has been good. And things are going very well—probably as well as they’ve ever been,” Barton said. 

Years of careful planning and responsible spending appear to be paying dividends to Manti residents. Improvements to roads, upgraded sewage processing and surplus funds for future needs are some benefits realized as FY 2020-21 closed. 

The only fund with a surplus greater than four percent was the Water Fund. Total revenues from water came to about $550,000 while expenses came to $376,000, leaving a surplus of $177,000, or about a 32 percent “profit.” 

Barton said the surplus water revenue is used for past, current or future capital improvement projects for the water system. This includes obligations like repayment of a bond the city was issued in 2002 and repairs to city springs which failed in 2018.

The Sewer Fund had expenses in excess of revenue, but those covered the recently completed land application project north of the sewer lagoons. 

The Sewer Fund expenses, while over budget on paper, were covered by funds the city has had on hand since 2012. Those funds came from a no-interest bond and were set aside to cover anticipated Phase 2 sewer lagoon project needs, Barton said. 

“That’s been an almost perfect project for the city. We didn’t have to go out for any funding,” said Barton.

The administrative category of the general fund also showed significant expenditures in excess of revenue, but it was explained that the overage was covered by CARES funds. More than $308,000 in unbudgeted expenses were attributed to this category.

As previously reported in the Messenger; the city used part of these funds for some remodeling at the library, a new electronic sign on Main Street, and two UTVs to support maintenance on city property. 

As the report concluded, Mayor Korry Soper thanked Barton for his efforts and commented on the sound fiscal standing of the city. 

“We’re a small community. We’re tax-base challenged,” Barton said. “We are in very good shape.”

In other business, the council expressed concern for the health of trees lining Main Street because they aren’t getting enough water. 

“We don’t want to lose those trees. They’re a great asset in the city,” said City Manager Barton. 

The city crew is working with adjacent landowners to keep the trees healthy, he said. They’re providing hoses to residents as necessary and showing up to water trees with signs of stress.