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READING, Pa. — The Reading City Council received some positive financial news Monday when it heard a presentation of the results of the 2020 audit.

Christopher Turtell, an audit partner from Herbein & Co., said the city has made significant progress over the last decade.

Turtell told the council the audit summary page was probably the cleanest the city has had in the last five to 10 years.

Although there was one minor negative finding on some account reconciliations, Turtell said it was not significant.

"While some items still need to be addressed, not all findings are created equal," Turtell said. "Overall, the city did a much better job in reconciliations in key accounts."

Turtell said looking back to 2011, there were 14 negative findings, and those findings continued in double digits for a number of years.

Last year, the city had five negative findings.

"The city is continuing to improve the timeliness and accuracy of its financial reporting," he said.

Turtell also noted that the city's general fund balance continues to show a strong reserve, which he said puts the city in a good position to exit Act 47 this year. Act 47 is the state's plan for financially distressed cities.

Council President Jeffrey Waltman commended everyone in the administration for working to produce a clean audit.

Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said the financial stability of the city has been a long journey for some members of the council.

"We need to be appreciative of the work that goes on behind the scenes," Goodman-Hinnershitz said. "We only meet here once a week and see an overview snapshot, but we have no idea of the work that goes on. I am proud of the city."

Goodman-Hinnershitz said it is very important that the council and the administration continue to plan ahead to keep the city's finances on track.

"It's good we got this far," she added, "but we want to make sure we have sustainability with these efforts."

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