Several years of sizable revenue surpluses, buoyed by federal COVID relief funds, have left the city of Marthasville with a healthy financial reserve as the city enters its next fiscal year with a …
Several years of sizable revenue surpluses, buoyed by federal COVID relief funds, have left the city of Marthasville with a healthy financial reserve as the city enters its next fiscal year with a budget of $1.7 million.
City aldermen voted on June 15 to approve Marthasville’s 2022-2023 budget. Much of the alloted spending is devoted to the ongoing major construction of a new well, well house and ground storage tank north of the city, as well as other potential public works projects in the near future.
Marthasville is projected to end the month of June with over $2.2 million held in the various fund accounts that serve the town of 1,200. Over the next 12 months, the city is projecting revenue of $1.1 million, stemming from sources such as taxes, fees for city services, and a final disbursement of federal COVID relief funds.
Marthasville has about $255,000 budgeted for its general fund, which is the account that pays for most daily city operations.
$570,000 is budgeted to the city’s water fund, including $360,000 for engineering and construction of new water system improvements, as well as $30,000 for interest payments on any loan financing for water system construction.
$219,000 has been budgeted to operating Marthasville’s sewer system, including $50,000 for maintenance and improvements.
Nearly $261,000 is denoted for city street and transportation services, including $100,000 set aside for any needed street paving.
In a separate account that’s been newly created to budget specifically for park services, Marthasville has budgeted $117,000, the vast majority of which is reserved for potential park improvements. Aldermen have chosen to devote revenue from a cell phone tower built outside city hall specifically to this parks account.
And in the city’s capital improvements fund, which is supplied by its own separate sales tax, the city has budgeted $215,000. These funds can go toward any major projects, including for streets, utilities, or facilities.
If the city carried out its full $1.7 million spending plan, that would mean a deficit of over $600,000, leaving the city’s total funding reserve at $1.8 million. Most or all of that deficit would be attributed to larger public improvement projects that the city has been holding money in reserve for, Mayor David Lange said.
“It’s just a guideline. The board can vote to spend less money or more money than what’s in this budget. This budget is not a requirement that you have to spend that amount of money,” Lange commented prior to the June 15 budget vote.
In fact, it’s fairly common for local governments in this area to budget deficits, but end the year with a surplus instead. This is because a city might set aside many small pools of money in its budget for “just in case” situations of needing to replace equipment or pay for unexpected maintenance, but then never actually need to spend that money. Larger chunks of funding for major projects, such as street paving or water line installation, can also be budgeted for and then not initiated.
The current water well construction in Marthasville, for example, had $200,000 for construction set aside in the city’s budget for multiple years before the project was initiated. If such funding doesn’t get spent, it simply becomes available for the next year’s budget. As another example, Marthasville had budgeted a deficit of $637,000 in its previous fiscal year, but is instead ending the year with a surplus.
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