Oxford is in strong financial shape, according to the 2007 financial report given at the city council work session on June 16.
"They are in very sound financial condition," said auditor Wayne Tamplin, of Treadwell, Tamplin & Co., who helped prepare the statement. "Their reserves are very strong, unlike some of the cities we've been hearing about in the Atlanta area."
Key highlights given by the 2007 report, which will be submitted to the state at the end of June, include the following:
Oxford's net assets totaled more than $9 million, which was an increase of more than $1.3 million from the last fiscal year.
About 56 percent of those assets are in capital, such as land, buildings, and infrastructure, with the remaining 42 percent available to meet obligations to creditors and citizens.
Of the more than $1.1 million fund balance at the end of FY 2007, about 68 percent of it is general unreserved fund balance while the remaining 32 percent is committed under spending guidelines.
The majority of governmental revenues came from taxes, which represented 84 percent, or about $757,000.
Some of the largest expenditures were for public safety, which cost the city about $381,000 or a little less than half of its total expenses for government activities.
The city is also working on tracking down the source of unaccounted for water being lost in the system, where more water is being purchased from Newton County than is billed to Oxford residents. In 2007, Oxford's utilization rate was about 81 percent, which means about 19 percent, or about $26,000 worth of revenues, was lost, according to the report.
City council member Terry Smith said the water loss could be due to a number of reasons, from backflow to leakage to fire hydrants being flushed or water being used through non-metered pipes. He said the city has been within state norms, which are about 10 percent loss, for several years.
Of the city's pension fund, which was 56 percent funded in 2000 and 73 percent funded in 2007, Tamplin said it might take another two or three years, or about $220,000, to be fully funded.
"You are heading in the right direction. If something cataclysmic should happen and you have to fully fund it, you could do it," said Tamplin.
Having a strong financial standing will be helpful in funding large projects, such as the upcoming new city hall/police station. "With their financial strength, they can borrow money much easier than someone without such financial strength," said Tamplin.