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May 22

Budget Wrap Up: Part IX

Comments (1) 8:30 AM posted by admin |

With another budget session in the books, last night City Council made three budget modifications. All passed unanimously 6-0 with Mayor Schreiber being absent.

Council set aside $250K of last year’s $1.6M surplus and put it into an Energy Conservation Revolving Fund. Whenever the City wanted to undertake energy efficiency programs, it could borrow money from this fund to be paid back with savings from said energy efficiency projects. Two years ago, City Council considered the Honeywell report, but chose not to bond $3M in order to pay for it. This fund allows the City to accomplish many of the goals of the Honeywell report albeit at a slower, much more fiscally responsible pace.

Council also set aside $100K of last year’s $1.6M surplus and put it into a Penninsular Dam Fund. The dam is subject to inspection and repair. This fund will allow the City to fund those inspections as well as study of whether the dam should be restored to produce hydro power or whether it should be removed. There are pros and cons to each argument that will ultimately pit environmentalists against alternative energy advocates. At least this argument will be a worthwhile fight.

Finally, Council moved $22K from the City Clerk’s budget that was orginally to be used for an audio system upgrade in Council chambers into Parks. There has been much debate as to whether or not the City has the funds to mow the grass in Riverside and Frog Island Parks. This money will be used on a contingency basis, but ultimately ends the debate.

It should be noted that the City will be exploring moving City Hall this year. To spend $22K on facilities in a building that may not be used much longer didn’t make much sense. Should the City determine that One South Huron is the best location for City Hall, the audio upgrade will be completed in next year’s budget cycle.

On a final bookkeeping note, the City Manager revised his revenue over expenditures assessment based on questions and comments from Council over the past few weeks. Originally, the City Manager had said the City would have $31K of revenue over expenditures. He increased that figure to $193K. Previously in the budget, the City Manager was recommending to transfer $804K worth of last year’s $1.6M surplus into the Roads budget for continued construction, engineering, and maintenance of major and local streets. With the $193K projection in the FYE 2009-10 budget, that $804K transfer figure can now be reduced to $611K.

The City’s budget is now ready for approval.

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1 Comment »

  1. Comment by rodneyn
    May 22, 2009 @ 9:21 am

    It is such a novel thing to have a group of rational, fiscally conservative people on City Council. Live long and prosper! …and congratulations on completing the proposed budget.

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