Finance

Accounting

The Finance Department currently is responsible for maintaining a complete and accurate set of accounting records for over 30 separate funds. The City currently maintains a General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Project Funds, Public Utility Enterprise Funds, and Agency Funds.

In order to maintain the accounting records, the department is responsible for processing the daily financial transactions including, but not limited to: accounts payable, cash receipting and banking. On an average month, the department issues more than 160 checks for payment of accounts payable invoices.

Financial Management

The Finance Department also provides for the long-term financial management of the City. Core responsibilities include, but are not limited to: management of the investment portfolio, coordination of the annual budget process, special assessments, debt management, financial reporting and risk management.

Investment Portfolio

The Finance Department currently manages an investment portfolio consisting of more than 130 individual securities and a balance in excess of $45 Million. Investments are made in accordance with State Statutes and the City's Investment Policy.

Debt Management

The City of Otsego has been assigned an "AA+" from S&P Global Ratings. The City has carried the "AA+" rating since June of 2018 and was most recently affirmed in August 2021. The August 2021 rating affirmation reflects the assessment of the City's following factors:

  • Strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area;
  • Strong budgetary performance;
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility;
  • Very strong cash liquidity;
  • Strong management;
  • Weak debt and long-term liabilities;
  • Strong institutional framework.

The bond rating helps to ensure that future debt will be issued with the lowest possible interest expense and cost to the taxpayer. The rating also provides opportunities to refinance outstanding debt at lower interest rates.

The full rating report issued by Standard and Poor's is available for review upon request from the City Administrator / Finance Director.

Budgets

The Finance Department coordinates the collaboration of all City departments to develop the City's budget. The City currently prepares annual operating budgets for: the General Fund, Debt Service Funds, Special Revenue Funds and the Public Utility Funds (Water, Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water). The City also prepares a ten-year Capital Improvement Plan.

The budget process typically begins in June with individual departments preparing their budget requests. Numerous public meetings are held between then and September where the City staff and City Council will discuss and review the budgetary requests. In September, the City Council adopts a preliminary budget and property tax levy. Public meetings again are used for further discussion and review of the budget before the City Council adopts the final budgets and property tax levy in December.

Financial Reporting

The Finance Department prepares an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (the Report). The City prepares the Report in accordance with guidelines established by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The City began submitting the Report to the GFOA for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award in 2012 and has been awarded the certificate each year since. To be awarded a certificate, the City must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized Report with contents conforming to program requirements, applicable compliance requirements and generally accepted accounting principles.