EARLY— Independent accountant Tony Krischke of Krischke and Company CPA confirmed the city of Early’s exponential growth over five years is not budgetary smoke and mirrors.

Krischke presented his annual independent audit to the Early City Council Tuesday, highlighting areas of growth and confirming Early to be in strong financial standing.

“You can make informed decisions using accompanying financial information or any analysis for what you might need to do in whatever you might need to decide,” Krischke said. “You can rely on that to make those decision. [The report] speaks the same to any creditors, bond holders, grantors – any potential users out there in the financial system.”

Krischke said the city saw a three percent increase in net assets while also paying $736,000 in debt services for city projects. He summarized Early’s previous fiscal year as financial steady while adding equipment necessary for expanded operations.

Early City Administrator Tony Aaron recently announced since 2014 the city experienced a 46 percent increase in sales tax revenue and hopes his recent visit to the International Council of Shopping Center’s recent show in Fort Worth will yield more sales tax revenue in the future. Aaron, along with assistant city administrator Larry McConn and tourism director Denise Hudson spoke with potential businesses looking to expand operations or relocate. Aaron said he had no announcements as this time, but felt positive about the potential of luring another business to Early.

“The ICSC convention – the shopping center convention – went really well,” Aaron said. “I had some good meetings, a lot of which I can’t discuss, but what I saw coming from that economic development convention was what a continuation of what we have been doing.”

Last fall, the city council approved a 1-cent cut in its property tax. Aaron attributed the cut – the second consecutive year of property tax cuts – to increased sales tax revenue. Although having nothing to announce immediately after attending ICSC, Aaron anticipates he may have something to bring to the taxpayers’ attention in the near future.

“We were able to meet with quite a few developers that we already had relationships with,” Aaron said. “Some of them had already done work in Early and are looking to do more work here and some of them with projects we hope to announce in the near future. It was very successful and it continues to put us out there in that development and real estate world of who Early is and what we have going on in our community.”

Councilmen will also:

Approved municipal development fund grants for K La Shae Designs, Texas App Saver LLC. Approved annexing and rezoning two acres of city-owned property at Salt Creek Drive — the location of the city pump station. Approved appointing Ryan Calloway and Greg Ellers to the Early Planning and Zoning Board and Recognized outgoing board members Maria Olivares and Pail Smithson for their years of service.