by Mayor Troy Emery
I wanted to get this information out to each and every one of the wonderful citizens of the City of Ranger.
The City of Ranger has more expenses than revenues and this is nothing new. Ranger has been in financial distress for numerous years as documented by the annual audits available at City Hall. Previous City Commissions have done a lot to remedy the issue, but even more has to be done. The auditor stated from his last audit of the city’s finances that the City is loosing $200,000 a year due to insufficient charges for utility services. He also stated that we would have to file for bankruptcy within TWO years if we don’t do something now.
We have an expense back log of unpaid bills around $200 Thousand; we just paid out over $100 Thousand, and just approved new bills that have come in the amount of $30 Thousand at the most current City Commission meeting. Over the past several months Sales tax revenue has been significantly lower compared to last year.
We should all take this very seriously. The City has already been very proactive in carefully reducing excess work force, looking for other revenue opportunities, monitoring every purchase through a purchase order system, and lastly we are conducting a Professional Rate Assessment to verify proper charges for Water, Sewer, and Garbage services. Our daily finances are being conducted and monitored by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is already showing positive results.
We could just raise rates based off of our own information and hope that it is enough, which is what has been done in the past. I think it would be arrogant of me or the Commission to do that. We owe it to you to give it to you straight. A proper rate increase now is better than multiple rate increases over the next few months or longer.
This is where I need to let you know that when the Commission gets the Professional Rate Study back, the rates for services will be adjusted as necessary to save this City from having to file for bankruptcy as other cities have done around the country.