Cassville approves budget adjustment

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Cassville City Council approved the 2010 end-of-the-year budget adjustment at its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 20.

Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, presented the aldermen with an operating budget adjustment report.

According to the report, the city's total revenue adjustment was $1,008,748. This included bond proceeds, transfers in bond money from the water fund and airport fuel sales. The report also indicated that $212,289 earmarked for the completion of the airport improvement project would be moved into the 2011 budget.

The total capital budget adjustment showed that the city spent $492,241 less on capital improvements than officials budgeted at the beginning of 2010.

This was accomplished by postponing the completion of the airport project and a roof repair on well #3 until 2011 and purchasing software and the new city police car for less than was budgeted.

The city also moved the completion of the Southern Hills waterline replacement project and Security Bank waterline extension project and billings for the Southern Hills sewer extension and Sherwood Forest street improvements into 2011.

The total operating budget adjustment for 2010 will be $145,784. This adjustment is due to electric costs, increasing airport fuel sales, professional engineering services for airport hangars and repairs at the wastewater treatment plant.

"These budget adjustments, which are made at the end of each year, bring the accounts into actual," said Cooper. "The most important thing to look at are the capital budget adjustments.

"Your operating expenses you don't have any control over, but you do your capital expenses," said Cooper. "Plus, the capital improvements have the most impact on the citizens."

Cooper also presented the council with a capital accounts reconcilation report and a cash balances report.

Currently, the city has a total of $3,513,725.88 in cash balances. These funds include $94,464.79 in unrestricted and undesignated funds, which are available for budgeted operating, capital expenditures and debt service.

According to the cash balances report, the city also has $1,404,078.52 in designated funds, which include general and water and sewer account reserves and UDAG funds. A total of $2,015,182.57 has also been designated as restricted funds, which include debt reserve, construction costs and repairs and replacement of equipment at the wastewater treatment plant.

In new business, Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator, reported that he has been contacted by a representative of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regarding a voluntary compliance agreement.

"Our permit to release overflow from the treatment plant into Flat Creek has expired, and we have been told that the release is no longer allowed," said Dilbeck.

According to the DNR representative, the voluntary compliance agreement will allow the city to continue to release overflow while officials are in the process of developing a plan for correcting the overflow issue. The city would have one year to develop the plan and five years to implement the plan.

"If we don't sign, we are at the mercy of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)," said Dilbeck. "If we release, we will be in violation and can be cited and fined. This agreement is our way to buy some time."

Dilbeck stated that although city attorneys had advised him against signing the agreement, he believes the council should approve the agreement within the next month.

Alderman Mark Pry questioned Dilbeck's decision to bring the issue to council during open session. According to Pry, the issue had previously been discussed in closed session. He also noted that the council had not talked directly to city attorneys about this issue.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Received updates on the Southern Hills waterline and sewer extension projects and the waterline extension to the Security Bank area.

* Requested a copy of the city's vacation policy and postponed a discussion on earned vacation time.

* Reviewed airport fuel sales and alum cost comparison reports.

At a special meeting on Dec. 9, the council approved a revised agreement with Andrew Burr, owner of Vertical Performance, LLC. Burr will serve as a fix based operator (FBO) at the Cassville Municipal Airport.

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