Aberdeen city finances on track, officials say

Revenue received by the City of Aberdeen in the first 10 weeks of the current fiscal year well exceeded what was spent in the same period, the city's finance director said.

During Monday's city council meeting, Director of Finance, Opiribo Jack presented the fiscal 2013 year-to-date financial activities of the city from July 1 through Sept. 12.

The city had a total of $9.2 million in revenues and expenses of $6.5 million in all of its funds combined during that time, according to Jack's presentation, a net of $2.7 million.

Among the five individual funds in the budget, four finished the period on the plus side. Only the water and sewer fund spent more than it took in.

Other highlights of the report are:

General fund

Total receipts exceeded total expenses by $3 million, with collections of $6.7 million and expenses of $3.7 million.

Property tax collection was more than budgeted by $456,000, state shared revenues were $232,000 less than budgeted and county shared revenues were $53,000 more than budgeted.

Expenses were better than budgeted by $279,000. This resulted from savings from the property insurance premium and from delayed cash outlays in line items, such as street lighting, tipping fee, IT and legal counsel.

Capital projects fund

There were practically no activities in the capital projects fund other than a BRAC Zone grant of $108,000 and a transfer in from the general fund of $631,000.

Water fund

Total revenues exceeded total expenses by $289,000, with revenues of $747,000 and expenses of $458,000. Total revenues were in line with budget; so were expenses.

Sewer fund

Total expenses exceeded total revenues, including grants and loan proceeds, by $1.4 million, with expenses of $2.1 million and revenues of $676,000.

Total resources were less than budgeted by $2.2 million. This is because some grants and loan proceeds - $919,000 in grants and $592,000 in loans - have yet to be drawn down.

Expenses were less than budgeted by $715,000 because of the slower pace of capital construction.

Stadium fund

The only activities in the stadium fund were transfers in from the general fund of $279,000 and expenses of $6,000.

"We're ahead of projection which is good, but certain revenue sources like property taxes come in big chunks," City Manager Douglas Miller said, in commenting on the report Wednesday.

"Property tax revenue comes in two big chunks: one in August and one in January," Miller said. "We're pleased that we're ahead of projection."

"Typically, we're always positive at this point of the year," he continued. "Even if we're behind projections, we're typically ahead [in revenue]."

Like most consumers and businesses, Miller said the city's finances have been affected by the recession.

"In the last four years, the economy has been horrible. We've put off our larger, capital expenditures, like trucks, until the fourth quarter," he explained. "That way, if things are going very poorly, we're not obligated to spend money on capital items.

"We'll again spend if we have major capital expenditures," Miller added. "We'll do that starting in March."

At this point, Miller said, the city does not have a lot of expenses slated for March when the final quarter of the fiscal year will be starting. He also said that a lot of the city's paving and sidewalk repair has been put off until December.

"With much of our equipment we'll put off [purchases] until the fourth quarter unless it's absolutely necessary, or we'll buy it before," Miller said.

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