Live Oak city seal

LIVE OAK — The City of Live Oak’s finances are in good shape.

Ryan Tucker, with Purvis Gray and Company, delivered a clean audit to the Live Oak City Council at its May 14 meeting. He said the city has made significant strides in recent years to improve its financial standing.

“Yes, you’re in much better shape than you had been after making some good improvements,” Tucker said when asked if the city was in good shape.

“You had some tough decisions there and we commend you for that.”

Tucker said the city has around $1.5 million in its general fund balance.

The recommended best practice is for governments to have at least two months of operating expenses in its general fund in case of emergencies. After a few tough years, Tucker said the city has finally gotten back to that point.

In 2013, Tucker reminded the council that the city had only around $94,000 in its general fund.

“We keep tabs on this number and we’ve been mentioning this number for a number of years,” Tucker said. “Back in 2013, that was at critically low levels.

“You’ve made quite a bit of progress.”

Council President Bennie Thomas said: “That’s excellent.”

Tucker said the audit ran smoothly and was an unmodified opinion, which is highest level of assurance a CPA firm can provide.

City Manager Ron Williams agreed that the audit was very positive for the city.

“The real financial report card is presented by way of our external audit, which really gives you as a council and the public a real picture of the financial status of our city,” Williams said.

“The financial direction of the city is positive.”

Williams credited the city’s entire staff for the positive report, stating there had been savings across the board from department heads willing to follow a culture change of trying to cut costs.

“It’s a salute to the directors and their buy in to the philosophy of ‘hold the line,’” Williams said.

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