City News

If it had been a doctor’s visit, the city of Sedona would have been given a clean bill of health.

During its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Sedona City Council was briefed on the city’s comprehensive annual financial report. This annual audit of municipal operations is required by state law and must include a financial statement of all accounts and funds of the city.

“This is a clean report,” said Sandy Cronstrom, of the accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen, who oversaw the city’s audit. “As we were doing our audit testing, we did not come across anything that led us to believe that there’s material misstatements and all the amounts being reported are proper.”

In terms of revenues, the city general fund increased by $2.6 million with $2.1 million of that coming by way of a bump in sales and bed tax in the city during fiscal year 2016-17, which ran from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

“Most of that increase is attributable to tourism,” Finance Director Cherie Wright said, noting that in FY 2016-17, $20.1 million came via sales and bed taxes. 

During this same time, the general fund went from $23.1 million in 2016 to $25.2 last fiscal year.

Expenditures increased overall by $2 million from the previous year while in some areas, spending decreased. The areas that saw the largest jumps include:

  • Street expenditures increased $1 million to increase the rehabilitation and pavement preservation program to cover an average of four and a half to five miles per year. 
  • Economic development expenditures increased $900,000 due to a reclassification of the visitor center support of $400,000 to economic development, an increase in destination marketing of $400,000 and the implementation of an economic development program that focuses on other industries besides tourism.
  • Public safety expenditures increased $800,000 due to the inception of the assigned vehicle program lease and equipping of those vehicles, as well as a reclassification of expenditures to public safety.

The wastewater fund budget saw an extra $900,000, with the majority of that coming from one-time fees from two major construction projects — CVS and Courtyard by Marriott. In addition, the treatment plant’s capital outlay expenditures were $1.2 million under budget due to capital improvement projects not completed and carried over to this current fiscal year. These include the effluent management project, the bar screen and filter system upgrades, and the headworks replacement.

“The services we’re providing are good ones for Sedona,” Councilman Tom Lamkin said. “You look at the kinds of facilities we have for a city our size and under the fiscal management we’ve been able to manage so far, I think you’d be hard pressed to go to cities this size and find the amenities we have.”

The complete audit can be viewed on the city’s website at

Ron Eland can be reached at 282-7795 ext. 122 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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