Revenue up, but fiscal year ends in red

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

City comptroller Diane Waldron revenue is up, but the recently ended fiscal year ended in the red.

Waldron gave her monthly report during the August meeting of the joint board, which is comprised of the entire City Council and Board of Finance.

Waldron reported that the revenues for the 2017-2018 fiscal year did very well. Tax revenues “exceeded the budget estimates by $1.08 million.” Additionally, licenses, fees, and permits exceeded budget by $608,000— building permits came in at $555,000 over budget. Waldron also said that the city’s “investment earnings did extremely well,” as they were budgeted to be approximately $325,000, and they came in at $914,000, “which definitely will help offset the shortage in state revenues.”

“We did end the year at $3.7 million deficit, however, we still were pending the school readiness grant of about $268,000, so the deficit is about $3.45 million,” said Waldron.

In regards to expenditures, Waldron said “we’re closing everything out now,” but it seems as if everything is falling where she anticipated it would.

Waldron also gave an update regarding the Board of Education. Waldron had previously reported to the joint board that there was an estimated BOE deficit of $500,000. As of the morning of this meeting, Waldron received word that the BOE is now anticipating at deficit of $415,000, which they will report to the finance board at its Tuesday, Aug. 28, meeting.

“But, to offset that, there’s a grant for the displaced students that they’ve been talking about- they estimate that grant to be about $273,000, so the net deficit will be approximately $141,000. Because we don’t have that grant yet, we have nothing in writing, nothing official, I am asking that they come to the BOF for the $415,000,” said Waldron. “Once we receive the notification from the state that we’re getting that $273,000, we will report that as receivable at the end of the fiscal year and a revenue to the general fund.”

Waldron said there will “probably be a request for contingency,” but there are “sufficient funds in the contingency account to cover that $415,000, and we would rather do that than increase the bottom line of the budget.”

“With regard to 2018-2019, the only thing that I do want to report… there was a change in the Alliance grant. The Alliance grant recalculation actually is going to take away $410,000 from the ECS [Education Cost Sharing] grant that we had budgeted. At the time that we put the budget together, we were going off of what we had been told the Alliance grant would be, the same as the prior couple of years, and after the [state] budget was passed, they went back in and recalculated the Alliance grant,” said Waldron.