Council approves $4.69 million budget

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Dec. 19, the Cassville City Council approved nearly a $4.7 million budget for 2012. Although the new budget appears to total $1,080,976 more than the 2011 budget, the increase in expenditures can be attributed to auditor recommended changes to the city's accounting practices.

"There were several things that the auditor asked us to do this year," said Darelyn Cooper, city clerk and finance officer. "In the past, the general fund has supported parks, the aquatic park and streets. The auditor suggested those be broke out into special revenue funds.

"Although the general fund can be used to support anything, including special revenue funds and enterprise funds, typically general funds are not used to supplement enterprise funds," said Cooper. "This year's budget shows how much our general fund supports our special funds."

In developing the 2012 budget, Cooper added information to show how much money is transfered out of the general fund to supplement the city's special funds and enterprise funds.

The new fund transfer information also shows how much general funding is used for economic development, the Cassville Police Department, municipal court, building inspections and the municipal airport. Transfers total $1,092,212.

"I hope that this gives the council a better idea of how much sales tax and other money is used by each department," said Cooper. "It is sort of an FYI (for your information) for the aldermen."

Cooper also added a capital improvement line item in the summary for the 2012 operating and capital budget. The line item shows that the city receives $383,120 in sales tax revenues for capital improvements. Currently, $342,718 of that revenue is used to pay the debt service for the sewer department.

Cooper also added information on the 5 percent of water and sewer revenues that are allocated for administrative support. The utility rate increase approved last week will increase the amount collected for administrative costs by $22,721 to $63,123.

"That money can be used anywhere," said Cooper. "It can be used for general operations or the council could decide to place it back in the water and sewer funds, but it can only be used for capital improvements."

Even though this year's budget seems to have increased over $1,000,000, if the transfers are removed from the expenditures that have been budgeted for 2012, the budget is actually $11,236 less than the budget approved for 2011.

"We have less money in all of our operations except water and sewer," said Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator. "The new rates will increase revenue by around $300,000.

"The total for the budget is up, but the rest of the budget is down," said Dilbeck. "We budgetted for sales tax to be down an additional 1 percent from last year."

Total 2012 general fund revenue is estimated at $2,014,418.

The general fund covers operating expenses for administration, economic development, police operations, courts, building inspections, parks and recreation programs, streets and the municipal airport.

General fund operating, capital and debt service expenses are estimated at around $2,014,418 in 2012. The largest general fund expense is the city payroll. The budget does not include a cost-of-living raise for any city employees.

"We have the same number of positions we have had for the last three years," said Dilbeck. "We did cut expenses two years ago, and this year we will be getting by on a bare bones budget."

The 2012 budget only includes one capital project. The city plans to complete an airport runway extension, which will cost $150,000. Funding for the project will be provided by a 95/5 matching grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The city's match amount will be $7,500.

The 2012 budget includes $208,940 in grant revenue. In addition to the airport improvement grant, the Cassville Police Department anticipates receiving a total of $66,440 in grant funding through the following grant programs: DWI Enforcement; COPS; and Cyber Crime Grant.

According to the approved budget, the city expects to receive $1,577,237 in water and sewer fund revenues in 2012. Water fund expenses are expected to total $584,641 and sewer fund expenses are budgeted at $992,597 for 2012.

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