Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 26, 2014

City budget on course

MT. VERNON — The city budget is showing expenses and revenues at close the to expected 75 percent mark.

"We should, theoretically, be at 75 percent, and we're just under at 73.4 percent on revenues in general corporate," said City Finance Director Merle Hollmann. "Even though our revenues came in at a slower pace than expected, the expenses came in at a slower pace than the revenues have."

The fiscal year started May 1, and the council received a third quarter update on the budget on Monday. The operating cash balance for general corporate on April 30, 2013, was at $3.1 million — and at $2.9 million on Jan. 31.

In the working fund, the balance at the beginning of the fiscal year was at $3.7 million, and at $3.5 million on Jan. 31.

Actual revenues as a percentage of the budget in the general corporate fund are at 73.4 percent, and actual expenditures are at 71.1 percent.

Hollmann reminded council members the budget for the fiscal year included a budgeted deficit of $611,135.

"At this time, the deficit is still there, but down to a deficit of $214,000," Hollmann said. "From the standpoint that it could have been much larger, it's a good thing. ... We're working on numbers now to see if that will be even smaller."

When moving on to the Public Utilities Fund, Hollmann said the numbers may change once all water meters are read instead of estimating bills.

"This winter, we haven't been able to read all the meters due to the weather," Hollmann explained. "We can't read our meters if there is 2-inches of snow on the ground or the temperature is less than 19 degrees because if you open the lid, it will freeze up. We've never had to estimate as much as we have this winter. Some customers have had three months of estimated bills in a row. The estimates are inaccurate."

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