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City delivers balanced budget for 2017-18

 

September 15, 2017



Sidney City Council Tuesday approved a budget summary for 2017-18.

The budget is a balanced one, Ed Sadler, city manager, reported to the council in his presentation.

“It’s spending the revenue that we’ve got,” he said. “It’s not spending any more than what we’re taking in this year, which is a good thing, because that has not been the case for the last couple of years.”

Expenses totaling $31,638,848 for the year were projected.

“This is a much more concise budget,” Sadler explained. “This is not handling money more than one time. This same sheet last year showed this as over… $56 million. And believe me, we did not cut $26 million out of the budget.”

The new budget structure does not consider money “we may not get” and does not reflect multiple funds being transferred.

“We hope this is a more realistic picture for the public,” Sadler said. “This is truly the money we will spend, the money we will spend in each of these departments, what their funding source is.”

The biggest expense for the city is electricity, at one-third of the budget. Of that, Sadler said, about 80 percent of that budget goes toward buying the electricity.

The next largest expenses are the general fund at 22 percent and debt servicing funds at 20 percent.

Revenue of $30,668,415 is anticipated for the 2017 budget year.

The amount is smaller than the projected expenses, Sadler noted.

“Most of that is held up in two numbers,” he said. “We budgeted emergency funds for electric for $500,000 that isn’t truly coming out of the cash balance, and you budgeted $200,000 for water.”

These are crucial services following disasters such as floods, high winds and tornados, and seen in recent disaster areas created by hurricane activity.

“Everything you hear from them is, we don’t have electricity and we don’t have water,” he said. “Those are the two things that are the most effective that we do that are critical to people. They’re the things you most need the money for to recover, to recover quickly and for public health and safety.”

He added, “We are in a position with our cash reserves that we can put that money aside.”

The mill levy will increase from 0.43 to 0.53 for 2017-18 due to two bonds being paid off.

“That entire increase is because of the debt service. The bonds we sold last December and last January, that’s created this additional debt,” Sadler said. “Those payments are coming due in this fiscal year. It’s the roads we did, it’s the water, it’s the pool. It’s a lot of different things.”

Sadler anticipated the mill levy will drop to 0.50 for 2018-2019.

Sales tax revenue is expected to decrease, from $2 million in 2016-17 to $1.85 million in 2017-18.

Assessed values are also anticipated to decrease, Sadler said.

No greater sources of debt or large projects are anticipated in the near future.

“There weren’t a lot of big capital projects this year,” he said. “We are not anticipating a lot of big projects until we have the money to do some more road projects, which we are putting money away to save for that.”

 

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