SOUTH BEND -- The city of South Bend is in good financial shape. In fact, it's in better financial shape than many other cities its size in the state.
That was the gist of Mayor Pete Buttigieg's address to the Common Council Monday concerning the financial state of the city.
"The bottom line is, the city's finances, I think, are healthier than people realize," Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg reported that revenue exceeded spending in 2012, his first year in office. Total revenue to the city, which includes property taxes, charges for service, bond proceeds and other items, was $284.2 million. Total spending was $261.2 million.
Water and wastewater spending accounted for 30.55 of total spending, Buttigieg reported, and public safety accounted for 29.2 percent. Economic development accounted for 16.55 percent.
General fund spending totaled $63.4 million, or about 24 percent of total spending, the mayor reported. Of that, he said, public safety accounted for 83.44 percent, followed by general government and other (6.91 percent); code enforcement (3.99 percent); engineering and streets (3.68); and recreation and culture (1.98 percent)
In terms of personnel, the number of full-time city employees at the end of 2012 was 1,118, with 51 percent of those people working in public safety, Buttigieg reported. That's compared to 1,116 at the end of 2009; 1,132 at the end of 2010; and 1,133 at the end of 2011.
Buttigieg reported that the city's credit rating is AA with a "stable" outlook, according to Standard & Poor's. That is better than any other second-class city in the state (more than 35,000 residents), including Mishawaka, Elkhart and Bloomington, he said.
In fact, only Indianapolis, a first-class city in terms of population, and the state itself have a better credit ratings, he said.
In addition, in January, the city was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual report, Buttigieg said. The Department of Administration and Finance, headed by City Controller Mark Neal, won the award, and a Certificate of Achievement plaque was given to Deputy City Controller John Murphy.
The mayor is required by city code to address the Common Council in February of each year concerning the financial state of the city. He will deliver his annual State of the City address next month.
Staff writer Erin Blasko: