Chambless: City revenue above projections

By ED HOWELL
Posted 5/10/19

City Clerk Kathy Chambless gave a positive update on the city's finances for Fiscal 2019, saying the city has an extra $850,000 in revenue above what it budgeted. Chambless made the report at …

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Chambless: City revenue above projections

Posted

City Clerk Kathy Chambless gave a positive update on the city's finances for Fiscal 2019, saying the city has an extra $850,000 in revenue above what it budgeted. 

Chambless made the report at Tuesday's meeting of the Jasper City Council., which also approved or heard about a number of expenditures or escrow plans. 

"We expect this year to operate over the budgeted revenue at $850,000," Chambless said. "We having an excellent revenue year. The economy here is good, as it is in lots of places. So we do think we will have an additional $850,000 above our $24.4 million that we budgeted for 2019. That is really quite exciting."

Some departments are wanting what budget amendments, but city officials are studying figures to see that they do not exceed line items in the budget as the ordinance requires, she said.

General Fund expenditures look good for the rest of the year, she said.

In the same report, Chambless also dealt with some budget amendments. 

"It is time to approve the funding for several projects currently being worked on in the city," Chambless said. "The total cost of the projects is a little over $100,000. This is the money the council has approved to spend for projects from fund balances we've been able to accumulate from the past couple of years. These projects have been discussed in the work session." 

The council approved the budget amendment. Councilwoman Jennifer W. Smith was not present, as she was at the Alabama League of Municipalities convention. 

Chambless also introduced a budget amendment to provide $19,001 from this year's Project Fund for drainage repairs at 18th Street and Euclid Avenue. 

The council also approved an escrow of funds from the 2017 Warrant Fund for $15,000 for asphalt for the Fourth Avenue parking lot and $300,000 for the 19th Street West sidewalk and drainage project, around the old West Jasper school. Chambless said that would almost complete the spending of $7 million set aside for paving from warrant funds. 

Mayor David O'Mary noted officials need to see first how the parking lot will respond to conditions to see what its load bearing capabilities will be before laying down asphalt. 

"I had some reservations based on past experiences on whether or not we would make good on our promise, so we agreed to escrow the cost of that asphalt and make a decision a year from now as to whether we put asphalt on that parking lot or not," he said. 

He also noted on the west end of 19th Street during the paving project, the city encountered some unforeseen problems that "ran the cost up significantly." He said the work needs to be done and it is possible the city could pick up some grant money in time. 

He said an escrow $300,000 can be taken from the bond money to do the work, which could be offset later with grant funds if they are found. 

"As long as (the work) is done, that's all that matters," he said.