|1ST QUARTER FINANCES ON TRACK|
FINANCE TEAM REPORT 2-20-13 LMS
According to a quarterly report given to the city’s Finance Team by City Finance Director Amy Fealko General Fund revenues are at just over 20 percent of projections and expenditures are just over 26 ˝ percent. Team chairman and City Councilman Jim Bockelman told the February 20 meeting of the council that four months into the city’s fiscal year there was only one item significantly over budget and that had to do with a Byrne Grant budgeting/reimbursement issue which was explained by Fealko.
As far as capital investment projects all are progressing as planned. Fealko presented a draft budget schedule for 2014. The team requested that a schedule to include a goals setting segment be added which would allow the council to inject specific directional thoughts before the budget process proceeds much further. Fealko will ask department heads to contribute any capital improvement ideas.
Bockelman said Fealko explained that a recent change in cell phone provider ownership plus changes in the city’s services plan she has proposed will amount to a savings of around $250 per month.
Other Finance Team topics of discussion included who should complete a questionnaire related to Statements on Auditing Standards 114 Communications and whether or not the wording in Resolution 2012-1 defines its purpose. The resolution gives the mayor authority to sign grant applications and, when awarded, requires council approval of the grant before it is officially accepted. It was decided the resolution’s intent is clearly stated.
The team also discussed the city’s need to develop an inventory of all city sidewalks then move forward in creation of a strategic plan for necessary repairs or improvements. It was decided that Bockelman would do more research into the city’s Idaho Avenue property and report findings to the City Council.
The Finance Team was told by City Administrator George Ambrose that the state has rejected contract changes previously requested by the city on the Bike Path construction contract. He said the city will now have to decide if it wants to proceed with the project and if so, exactly how. It is his feeling the city can provide the majority of preparation work on the path and contract the asphalt portion of the project with the company that will be doing paving work at the airport this summer.
When the Bike Path topic was discussed by the City Council at its February 20 meeting Ambrose told the council he has talked with the paving contractor and that estimated cost figures are good. He has also talked with two major local contractors who are interested in bidding on the construction phase of the project. Ambrose said the issue right now has to do with the time frame. The project has been before the council for many months and he said the council has to make a decision on the Bike Path or the state money will be passed on to one of the numerous other cities that want it.
The general consensus of council members is the Bike Path is a good idea however; Councilman Jim Kluesner objected to having to make a decision without knowing exactly what the city is getting or is obligated to give. He said he for one has not seen the actual plans and other council members said they hadn’t either. Ambrose said the plans have been in his office for weeks and no one has asked to see them. Rather than prolonging a decision until the next council meeting and risk losing state funding, the plans were produced and studied. The proposed path along Highway 28 will begin near the Lemhi Back Road intersection with Highway 28 and end at the City Park baseball field. Ambrose said the council can give the initial go ahead and still have the option of withdrawing if final figures are not agreeable.
A motion was made to accept the Bike Path contract with the state of Idaho, contingent on a written assurance from the state engineer that the funding exists. One of the worries over the state contract is a clause that says if the appropriation is not there the city will be responsible for project funding. The final vote to accept the state contract was five to one with Kluesner casting the one ‘no’ vote.
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