Budget

The city of Shakopee got a clean audit.

Shakopee’s 2018 audit report was presented to the city council on Tuesday, and it was a clean audit.

Shakopee’s governmental fund balances increased by more than $1.3 million from 2017, meaning more money will be available for capital improvements.

According to Shakopee Finance Director Darin Nelson, the increase in revenue can be attributed to the healthy economy, which has provided fertile soil for developers seeking to build and renovate in Shakopee.

“We’ve had a very good run since the economy has been on the uptick,” Nelson said, adding that the last three years have each been better than the last for Shakopee’s economy. And he predicts 2019 will be no exception.

Developers want to build in Shakopee, and the city rakes in more property taxes every time ground is broken on a new building. Last year, the city’s general fund revenue increased by $1.75 million, mostly from property development with the addition of new townhomes, apartment buildings, or single family homes.

However, the city’s expenditures also increased by $2.1 million due to cost-of-living increases for employees, new city staff positions, increased operation costs for the community center and ice arena, new body cameras for the police department and higher-than-anticipated costs for snow removal last winter.

Shakopee typically aims to have 40 to 45% of its total projected budget in reserves. At the end of 2018, the city was right at 45%, with $12.2 million in general fund reserves for this year.

“We have healthy reserves in place,” Nelson said.

Shakopee’s debt also decreased by $1.9 million last year, and it is in the top 7 percent of cities nationwide for its AA1 bond rating.

Maddie DeBilzan is a reporter for the Shakopee Valley News.

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