City Manager Jim Crosby continues to be open with City Council about the city’s finances.
Crosby made it a point at the Aug. 2 work session that the Council would be looking at the budgets each month to make sure the city is staying on track. Crosby has continued to do so, and Council members have remained attentive to the budget updates so they can be more accountable and transparent with the city’s funds.
In the most recent update on Jan. 17, Crosby passed out a handout with a list of the accounts and the current amounts compared to June 30 and Nov. 15 of last year.
Each account had an explanation alongside it for what the account was for.
Out of the 14 total accounts listed, 11 of which have increased since June 30, including the Sinking Fund; Pooled Cash; PEST—Police, Fire and General Employees accounts and the General Fund Reserves.
The General Fund Reserves account has raised from almost about $1.1 million in June to $1.9 million now.
“We’re doing very well,” Crosby said. “It has grown.”
Crosby also went through each account to explain what would be coming out of some accounts soon, how those accounts will be brought back up and what accounts will continue to grow.
For example, the Sinking Fund will soon have a bond payment of $815,000 come out of the $1.3 million, but will build back up as people pay taxes.
All three PEST accounts—police, fire and general employees—will also each have $500,000 taken out of them for the city’s operating budget.
Crosby also explained the accounts that don’t have more in them since June. One was the 96 ST Bond account, which always has the same amount of $182.72 kept in it because that’s the amount of the monthly payment; the Payroll Tax Account which has money transferred from Pooled Cash at the time of each payroll to cover the payments and the Bank One account in which the city’s monthly credit card bill is paid from—funds are also transferred from Pooled Cash into this account to cover the approved credit card expenditures.
Mayor John Alberts asked about the tax increment financing (TIF) account and why they couldn’t see it on their list. Crosby and Treasurer Philip Merry quickly explained that the TIF account is included in Pooled Cash, but has its own budget and is just growing right now. When Alberts expressed his concern with that and the need for a separate account and update, Crosby and Merry said they would make it happen.
Crosby continued to inform the Council of each account, making sure there was no further questions, concerns or confused in regards to the numbers or his explanations.