City budget: Revenue up, spending down
As the main action item at the Sept. 26 regular meeting, the Nome Common Council unanimously voted seven amended city fiscal year 2016 spending plans into first reading: general fund, school debt service, special revenue, capital projects, construction capital projects, Port of Nome and Port of Nome capital projects budgets.
The action will bring the final revenues and expenditures to actual numbers effective June 30, 2016 to close out the budgets.
The amended budgets will come up for second reading and a vote on final passage at the Oct. 10 regular meeting.
On paper, the budgets reflected more revenue and less spending than projected need. According to a written analysis provided to the council by Julie Liew, the city’s finance director, total revenue for FY 2016 came to $11,752,108, compared to the budgeted projection of $11,334,249, resulting in additional revenue of $417,859 added to the city’s fund balance.
Revenue was up in the following areas: landfill fees, remodeling permit fees, shared revenue and municipal assistance, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, ambulance fees, recreation—due to increase in passes, equipment and facility rentals, pool—due to increase in rentals, investment and interest earnings, and building and equipment rentals.
Total expenditures came to $10,291,266, compared to budget projections of $11,347, 392, which resulted in a savings of $1,056,126.
Costs and spending were down in budgeted spending in departments, and in building maintenance and building utility costs.
Ending surplus for FY 2016 was $1,460,842. However, the surplus was not a bonanza, as some of the surplus stemmed from a six-month state health premium holiday paid by State of Alaska, some of which was committed to pay for a new fire truck this year. Liew suggested that $96,406 be applied to the city’s reserve fund.
In other business:
• Myrna Outwater asked the city to shed more light on her neighborhood. Outwater, who lives at 909 East Tobuk Alley, wrote a letter to the council asking for a street light near her house, citing an example recently of a young child crying one early morning outside her house in the dark. John Handeland, utility manager, would look into the situation, he said. Citizen Chuck Wheeler reported that he had taken a look and found the end of the street lacking light, but that most houses at the end of Tobuk fronted on nearby streets.
• The council proclaimed Oct. 23 through Oct. 29 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Week. Childhood cancer organizations report that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among the nation’s children between infancy and age 15 years; one in five of children with cancer lose their battle. Other infants, children and teens suffer the effects of cancer treatment.
• The council noted that fall cleanup week would occur from October 10 through 15. One dump truck will be standing at East End Park; Public Works Dept. will be available Oct.10 through Oct. 14, by appointment, to pick up vehicles, including ATVs and snow machines, after owners have signed a release at City Hall.