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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Crossville council continues whittling on 2017-18 fiscal year budget but work remains.

After two lengthy budget work sessions, Crossville city council has reduced the 2017-18 fiscal year budget by about $500,000.  The difference between estimated revenue and expenses currently stands at $1.9 million in the red.

The Council still has to go through the water and sewer fund budgets but those are separate accounts and those changes have no effect on the general fund budget numbers.  According to city finance director Fred Houston, those funds are in the black as they currently stand.

Council has made no decision on non-profit donations and plans to put off a decision until they see how the budget numbers end up.

Council appears to be unwilling to add the 3 additional firefighters requested by fire chief Mike Turner to enable the department to use smaller trucks to respond to medical calls.  The council has expressed concern that the $133,000 cost for salary, benefits and training would continue annually and increase over time.

The city's 2016-17 for the current year budget was originally approved with a $2.2 million deficit but is now on track to end the year with a $900,000 estimated surplus.  And the previous year for 2015-16 ended with an almost $2.9 million surplus.  The city also has a rainy day fund that tops $10 million.

One proposal discussed would pay off some of the city's short term loans using the fund balance and that would further reduce the expenses for next years budget by some $800,000.  These loans paid for the fleet of police cars, some paving and the city's new radio system in partnership with the county.  Reports are that the radio system is working very well.

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