BENSON — City of Benson Finance Manager Michelle Ziatz had good news for council members when presenting the city’s September 2020 monthly financial report.

Ziatz opened her presentation with an overview of the city’s financial position by comparing fiscal year 2021, from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, with fiscal year 2020, from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2019.

The city’s general fund revenues from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2019, were at $1,696,104. Revenues for July 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, are at $1,806,629, reflecting an increase of $110,525. General fund expenditures for July 1 through Sept. 30, 2019, were $1,338,564, while expenditures for July 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2020, are currently $1,281,136, reflecting a decrease of $57,428.

“The city is holding steady with revenue and expenditures in the general fund and staying in line with conservative spending,” Ziatz said. “The general fund net position for the city for fiscal year 2020 was $357,540. The general fund net position for fiscal year 2021 is currently $525,492.”

The enterprise fund — which includes the golf course, gas, water, waste water and sanitation — is showing slight improvements in its net position.

For fiscal year 2020, the enterprise fund’s net position was $113,771, and for fiscal year 2021, the fund currently is $260,577.

When the economy continued to feel impacts from COVID, the city took a proactive approach by approving a COVID contingency reserve budget for all departments at the beginning of fiscal year 2021, Ziatz said. Based on the overall revenue and expenditure analysis of fiscal year 2021, the city is on track with general fund revenue projections for the first three months of the fiscal year. While pleased with the city’s current financial status, Ziatz said the finance department will continue to monitor revenues and expenditures in order to stay on track.

In other business

Council approved a request to amend a portion of a Cochise Terrace (RV resort) common area to be used as an additional RV parcel. Described by city planner Michelle Johnson as a “fairly straight forward administrative action” Johnson said the parcel is graded and in line with an existing RV parcel.

A special procurement of well abandonment services with BJ Drilling and Pump Company, Inc. for $22,288 was approved by council.

“This is to complete the abandonment of the West Benson Well, which is an older production well,” said Brad Hamilton, city engineer and public works director. “Over the years, the well suffered from several issues, including casing failures.” Changes in arsenic rules made the well noncompliant.

Located on Green Lane close to the Arena Bar, the well’s abandonment process requires cleaning and sealing perforations and openings. The work will require Arizona Department of Water Resources approval. Once the city receives ADWR’s approval, a porous concrete mixture will be pumped into the well to seal all perforations and as much of the surrounding area as possible, Hamilton said.

On Nov. 25, the Benson City Grille, located at the San Pedro Golf Course, is offering a Thanksgiving dinner either to take out or to dine in. All orders need to be placed by 5 p.m. Nov. 20. Call 520-586-2525 or email lmcgoffin@bensonaz.gov.

The next council meetings will be Dec. 14 and 28 at 7 p.m. at the community center.