White piggy bank on yellow

Despite a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to widespread shutdowns and other business restrictions, the city of Goodyear is in good financial shape—even better than 2019, according to a report presented at the Dec. 14 Goodyear City Council meeting.

At the same meeting, Goodyear Human Resources Director Lyman Locket presented a request to extend COVID-19-related emergency leave. 

“In the first seven months of the pandemic, we’ve had 89 or our employees access this leave—and in recent weeks we’ve had a minor surge,” Lockett said.

“Although there’s light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine, we still believe (the pandemic) will carry into the next year,” he added.

Finance Director Doug Sandstrom’s report was bright.

 Sandstrom said an independent audit gave the city an “unmodified clean opinion” with no significant deficiencies or weaknesses—and that the city’s financial position continued to improve.

The 2019-20 fiscal year ended July 1.

At that point, Sandstrom said, the city’s governmental funds had combined balances of $227 million, an increase of $41.5 million (22.4%) over the prior year fund balance of $185.5 million. 

On June 30, 2020, the general fund balance was $18 million, an increase of $1.5 million (9.1%) from the prior fiscal year.

Sandstrom said construction continues to boom, with 1,490 single-family residential permits issued in the 2019-20 fiscal year, an increase of 260 permits, or 21%, from the prior fiscal year. 

The city’s sales tax revenues increased by even more, with a 38% jump in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19. At its Dec. 7 meeting, Goodyear City Council approved raises and new hires.