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Council members express financial concerns

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By Leslie Moore

 

The city used just 97.8 percent of the money budgeted for fiscal year 2012-2013, but several questions were raised nonetheless about finances after Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young presented his year-end financial report on Monday.

Young said a budget is simply an estimate of what the city will spend, and sometimes things arise throughout the year that require changes to the budget.

"We try to allow for them, but it's hard to be right on," Young said. "But the bottom line is what I like to look at is we're 97.8 percent, which is 2.2 percent saved. You can multiply 2.2 percent times 10 million, and that's a lot of money."

Councilman Stan McKinney said there is about $200,000 left over.

Year to date revenue for the city was $9,682,766.64 and year to date expenses were $9,794,435.35.

Councilman Dr. Jimmy Ewing said if one looked at it from a year's standpoint, the city was $100,000 in the hole. He asked if that is accurate or reflective of where the city is with its finances.

Young said the city is in very good shape financially, and there was a significant balance carried over from the previous fiscal year. City Clerk Cary Noe said this balance was about $800,000.

According to Young, the city is now accumulating a generous-sized "rainy day" or reserve fund. Young said this money is not stored in just one account and is distributed among several accounts, including an appreciation account, a special savings account and regular savings account.

Councilman Mike Hall Jr. asked if Young will ask for the Council's approval before using those funds. Young said as long as the money appeared in a line item budget, he will not have to.

Several other questions were asked regarding the records of the reserve fund and where the money is coming from.

"I'll tell you my little trick, you're asking me so I'll tell you," Young said. "Every time that the property taxes start coming in, which is in October, we take 10 percent of what receipts are in that month and put it in a savings account."

Young said putting the excess money in reserve is better than leaving it in the general fund because in years past, the money would always be spent.

Noe said the figures shown in the report are subject to change because bills and revenue are still coming in even though the fiscal year has ended.

According to Noe, the fiscal year never begins at zero.

"Any revenue we receive is automatically coded to the line item that it belongs to so every penny is accounted for," Noe said. "If you transfer money in to a reserve account, even that is recorded as a transaction."

Department summaries for June, when the fiscal year ended, showed a few departments went over their budget, but several ended the year well under.

General government spent 101.1 percent of its budget, police spent 96.7 percent, planning and codes spent 106.8 percent, communications spent 95.7 percent, fire spent 88.9 percent, fire/fire rescue spent 92.4 percent, street department spent 101 percent, sanitation spent 96.3 percent, landfill spent 78.3 percent, garage spent 123.3 percent, park spent 109.1 percent, swimming pool spent 139.3 percent, and EMS spent 97 percent of its budget.

Councilwoman Patti Phillips asked why the swimming pool and garage spent significantly more than what was budgeted.

Young said there was a lot of work done to the swimming pool this year because pump motors had to be replaced, a leak in the middle of the season required repair and the bottom of the pool was painted. He said he doesn't believe it was necessary to increase the pool's budget because the maintenance performed this year should last through several seasons.

Young said the garage went over budget because when work is done to other departments' vehicles, the garage will often absorb the cost instead of charging the individual departments.

The year-end financial report for Campbellsville Municipal Water & Sewer shows the water treatment plant spent 98.7 percent of its budget, water distribution spent 94.2 percent, office spent 95.3 percent, wastewater plant spent 91.4 percent, wastewater collection spent 76.2 percent and GPS mapping spent 91.8 percent, for a total of 92.9 percent of the budget spent.

 

Also at the Meeting:

• There was much discussion regarding yard sales becoming a nuisance in residential neighborhoods and blocking traffic.

Councilman David Nunery suggested allowing neighborhoods to adopt ordinances regarding yard sales. However, Hall cited several potential problems such an ordinance could create and said the real issue is not with yard sales, but with people who are operating retail resale facilities out of their yards in residential subdivisions.

Hall said other communities require a permit for yard sales, and these permits serve the dual purpose of having a person who is responsible for the yard sale and addressing safety concerns such as parking. Hall said the permits issued could be tracked.

McKinney asked about a possible limit to the number of yard sales each resident could have, but Hall said the possibility was tabled once before because of concerns about possible backlash.

Young appointed a committee of Hall, Nunery and Phillips to review yard sale issues and form a recommendation.

• The Council renewed its agreement with United Healthcare for employee insurance. The rate increased 4 percent and 3 percent will go toward paying healthcare reform fees.

• Greg Gribbins, Jim Miller and Bill Chandler were reappointed to serve three-year terms on the Historic Commission-Renaissance Committee.