All About Richland

There’s A Difficult Road Ahead, Mansfield Finance Director Tells Council Committee

2 Mar , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The Finance Committee of Mansfield City Council met on Monday evening, primarily to hear a presentation by Finance Director Linn Steward about the City’s annual budget.

City Council passed a temporary budget before the end of 2020, but must update that with a final version soon.

To that end, Steward, with the help of department heads including Dave Remy, Public Works Director, have made a number of revisions to the temporary budget to create the current final budget proposal.

Revisions have also been made to anticipated revenue. On one hand, the City has received a Bureau of Workers Compensation rebate check of $2.1 million, which helped offset the use of the budget stabilization fund.

On the other hand, the fact that delays continue with the water meter installation project may impact revenue, Remy shared.

The bottom line is that based on those revenues, and appropriations totalling over almost $30.6 million, the City will end up with a meager $177,315 in unappropriated funds. The ideal, Steward told Committee members, would be something in excess of $1 million; it has remained above that mark for the last several years, including for 2020.

These are the funds used for extra salt purchases, grant matches, the downtown improvement fund, and other expenses that arise from time to time. If something comes up, she said, “…we’ll have nothing to work with.”

The amount would also be the smallest end-of-year balance during Steward’s time in the position.

The overall problem, the Finance Director concluded, is not revenue, it is expenditures. The situation “…is going to catch up with us,” she said.

Questions from Committee members did result in a review of possible expenditure cuts at Clearfork Reservoir, including the removal of an electrical upgrade at the campground there.

This item was removed in an unfortunately but necessary review by Remy to verify that budget expenses were necessary to be done in the short term. Also included in cuts were certain equipment upgrades at the water treatment plant.

The conversation will continue tomorrow during City Council’s first regular meeting of March. The agenda for that meeting can be accessed through the link below.

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