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Case Study

Guiding a Minnesota City Through the Pitfalls of Growth

The City of Carver is in Carver County, Minnesota, which is located in the southwest metropolitan area of the Twin Cities. Carver is known for its beautiful natural setting and recreational opportunities. We first began partnering with the city as its auditor in 2002 and took on an advisory role within its finance department in 2016.

 

Challenge

Carver has experienced somewhat of a population boom over the last 20 years. At the 2020 census, the city’s population was 5,241—a significant increase from its 2010 mark of 3,714.

While the multi-year stretch of residential growth was a positive development, it also brought new challenges for Carver’s leaders. The city was suddenly faced with greater expectations for services and facilities. In response, the city embarked on several capital projects, including the construction of a new city hall and the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant.

It wasn’t long before city leaders realized a more robust financial planning exercise was needed. They needed more than a spreadsheet—they needed to understand the city’s financials, as well as tax impacts to new rates and fees that came with growth and evolving expectations.

 

Solution

As Carver’s advisor, we quickly developed a long-term financial plan as well as project worksheets. The latter allowed city leaders to proactively address issues and keep projects on budget.

More than simply providing a spreadsheet, we helped city officials translate their financials to elected officials. The city council even used the materials we prepared to help residents understand and participate in city financials. Carver City Manager Brent Mareck explained: “You can’t have transparency if people don’t follow what you’re communicating.”

 

Results

With a long-term financial plan in hand, city leaders now have a better vantage point for how they want the city to grow.

“Thanks to Abdo’s forward-thinking guidance and solutions, we feel prepared for the impending challenges of growth.”

—Brent Mareck, Carver City Manager

 

Statistics

Carver has experienced 62% growth since 2010