The Honorable Mayor Harold Weinbrecht
Members of the Town Council and Citizens
316 N. Academy
Dear Mayor, Members of the Town Council, and Citizens:
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Town of
Cary, North Carolina is submitted for your review and use. This report was prepared by the Town’s
Finance Department, and it is the comprehensive publication of the Town’s
financial position and results of operations as of and for the fiscal year
As a comprehensive annual financial report this document provides financial detail and historical trends beyond the basic financial statements in the Financial Section. The Supplementary Information provides details on capital project activity and the utility system enterprise fund, and the Town’s internal service funds, pension trust fund and special revenue funds. The Statistical Section provides trend information on financial performance, revenue capacity, debt capacity, demographic and economic indicators as well as operating information. A Compliance Section includes documentation on federal and state grants and awards compliance, as well as revenue bond covenant compliance.
Town management is responsible for both the accuracy of the
data and the completeness and fairness of the report. To ensure reliability of the
As noted earlier, the Town is required by state law to have
an annual independent financial audit. A
compliance audit on federal and state financial assistance is also required
under the Federal Single Audit Act of 1984 and the State Single Audit
Implementation Act. Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, LLP, Certified Public Accountants, conducted
the audits and concluded in an unqualified (“clean”) opinion that the financial
statements present fairly in conformity with GAAP, in all material respects,
the financial position and changes in financial position for the Town of Cary,
North Carolina, as of
Management’s discussion and analysis of the basic financial statements (MD&A) immediately follows the independent auditors’ report and provides a prescribed narrative introduction, overview, and analysis of the basic financial statements. The MD&A is designed to complement this letter of transmittal and should be read in conjunction with it.
PROFILE OF THE TOWN
Cary, incorporated in 1871, is a thriving community in the heart of the Triangle area of North Carolina. The Triangle area has repeatedly ranked among the top regions in the country to live, work, to find a home, start a business, to raise a family and/or retire. Cary encompasses approximately 51 square miles in Wake and Chatham counties in the Piedmont region of the state. Cary adjoins the City of Raleigh, which is the state capital and the county seat, at the Town’s eastern boundary. At the Town’s northwestern boundary, the Town adjoins renowned Research Triangle Park (“RTP”).
Cary is a diverse community primarily composed of young,
affluent and well-educated people. According
to the 2000 US census, the median age of Cary’s population is 33.7 years, more
than two-thirds of Cary’s adult population has a college degree, and fourteen
percent were born in another country.
The Town is the seventh largest municipality in the State based on the Town’s population estimate at June 30, 2009 of 135,955. This is an increase of 5,239 people (+4.1%) since the July 01, 2008 estimate. Cary's population has increased by over 41,000 people (+41.6%) since the last U.S. Census on April 1, 2000. Cary is empowered by state statute to extend its corporate limits by annexation. All 29 annexations in fiscal year 2009 were the result of voluntary application by the property owner for annexation and primarily consisted of undeveloped property.
The Town has a council-manager form of government. The seven member Council is the policy-making and legislative body of Town government. Four of the seven members of the Town Council are elected from districts, and three members, including the Mayor, are elected at large. Each of the council members and the mayor serve four year staggered terms. The Council is responsible for setting overall policy, budget approval and appointing the Town Manager, Town Attorney and Town Clerk. The Town Manager is responsible for implementing Council policies and Town Ordinances, managing daily operations, and appointing department directors.
The Town provides its citizens with a full range of services, including police and fire protection, solid waste and recycling services, the construction and maintenance of streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and other infrastructure, recreation and cultural activities, fixed route and demand-response transit service, and water and sewer service. This report includes all of the Town’s activities in delivering and administering these services.
The Cary Town Council is required to adopt a budget by July 1 of each year. The Town is empowered to levy a property tax on both real and personal property located within its boundaries. The Town’s budget ordinance creates a legal limit on spending authorizations, and serves as the foundation for Cary’s financial planning and control. The budget is prepared by fund and function, for example, public safety. The Town Manager is authorized by the budget ordinance to make certain limited transfers within funds to facilitate budget execution consistent with Council intent.
Like the national and state economy, the local economy
suffered in fiscal year 2009. The rate
of new construction declined and the unemployment rate increased. Retail sales decreased and resulted in lower
sales tax revenues. But because the
state government and university employers in the area have provided relatively
more stable employment and because the region maintained positive growth,
Along with employment from government and four notable
universities, area job opportunities are derived from a number of high
technology employers within its borders including SAS Institute, the world's
largest privately held software company, and other high technology employers in
the Raleigh Durham region. A key
employment base is adjacent to Cary in
The historically strong employment and higher education opportunities, a warm climate, low crime rates and easy access to outstanding recreational and cultural amenities have helped make the region in which the Town is located one of the fastest growing in the country. Even in an economic downturn, during the fiscal year the Town issued 1,010 permits for new single family residential construction. Although this level of activity is 48% less than in prior years, Cary continues to draw newcomers to the area.
economic development in Cary in fiscal year 2009 included the announcement of
the opening of a delivery center for an IT company, HCL America that will grow
to over 500 employees over the next five years.
The Pantry and ABB moved their headquarters to Cary which will bring 250
jobs in total. SAS announced the
construction of a cloud computing center which will add 200 jobs. Siemens started construction of their 150,000 square
feet expansion, which will qualify as a “green” LEED Silver certified building
and is expected to create 300 new jobs. The
Town continued to build a strong reputation for amateur athletic events by
successfully hosting tennis, soccer, cross country, baseball and softball
events. During fiscal year 2009, the NCAA selected Cary to serve as
one of the inaugural members in its new “NCAA Championship City” pilot program
that will feature multiple host opportunities of NCAA Division I, II and
New and expanding businesses, and the jobs which they create, along with the amateur athletic visitor markets help maintain a healthy balance in the tax base that has enabled the Town to keep property tax rates and water and sewer rates at moderate levels while providing the infrastructure and high level of services demanded by citizens.
Council adopted a fiscal year 2010 budget based on a continued moderate rate of growth and decreased sales tax revenues. In planning for the future, the Town continues to maintain a high priority on both the delivery of quality services and financial stability.
LONG-TERM FINANCIAL PLANNING and MAJOR INITIATIVES
The Town maintains unreserved fund balance sufficient to maintain consistent cash flow, generate interest income, eliminate the need for short term borrowings, and provide flexibility for unanticipated opportunities and needs during emergencies or disasters. In addition, fiscally responsible budgeting has been key in maintaining and improving the Town’s outstanding bond ratings: AAA ratings from all three agencies for the Town’s general obligation bonds and AAA ratings from two agencies for the Town’s utility system revenue bonds.
Each year the town adopts a capital improvement budget and prepares a 10-year capital improvement plan. During the year, the Town funded and managed many significant projects including the following:
Planning, design and easement acquisition began on the
Construction continued on
Construction continued on key
thoroughfare widening projects in central and south
Design for renovations to the historic Cary Elementary building continued to facilitate its transformation to a cultural arts facility.
Planning for Phase I of the Western
Wake Regional Wastewater Management Facility (WWRWMF) continued during fiscal
year 2009. This facility, which will be
jointly owned by the partnering towns with
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded a
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Town of
In addition, the Town received the GFOA's
Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its annual budget document for the
fiscal years ended
In June 2009, the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility was named one of the best facilities in the nation, by maintaining the Directors Award of recognition from the Partnership for Safe Water for the fifth year in a row, which is an honor achieved by only 148 in the United States and only three in North Carolina. The program, developed by the EPA, assesses the water quality and operations of treatment plant facilities across the nation.
This report is the work of the efficient and dedicated staff
of the Finance Department. We wish to
express our appreciation to all members of the department who assisted and
contributed to the preparation of this report and to the entire Town staff for
their cooperation and assistance. Credit
is also due to the mayor and the members of the Town Council for their
unfailing support of the highest standards of professionalism in the management
Benjamin T. Shivar Karen A. Mills, CPA
Town Manager Director of Finance