UPDATED: Crestwood board OKs capital improvement fund, sewer lateral fund budgets

Crestwood City Hall

Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Crestwood City Hall

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen voted 7-0 Tuesday night to adopt ordinances approving the city’s 2018 capital improvement fund and sewer lateral fund budgets.
Ward 3 Aldermen Jerry Miguel was absent.
Aldermen also conducted first readings of ordinances approving the city’s 2018 general fund and park and stormwater fund budgets.
Final approval of the general fund and park and stormwater fund budgets will be considered by the Board of Aldermen Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Below is the story from this week’s print edition of the Call. Look for a story about the Nov. 28 Board of Aldermen meeting in the Dec. 7 print edition.

By Mike Anthony
Executive Editor
news1@callnewspapers.com

A public hearing on Crestwood’s proposed 2018 budget that projects a general fund surplus of roughly $138,000 was scheduled to be conducted earlier this week by the Board of Aldermen.
The Board of Aldermen was set to meet Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.
The proposed budget projects total expenditures of $14,830,096 with anticipated revenues of $13,645,312 — a deficit of $1,184,784. An ending fund balance of $7,748,918 is projected on Dec. 31, 2018.
City Administrator Kris Simpson originally proposed a 2018 budget that projected a total deficit of $1,083,784.
However, during two Ways and Means Committee meetings attended by all eight aldermen, the total deficit increased by $101,000, primarily due to the board’s decision to reduce projected sales-tax revenue.
The Board of Aldermen is scheduled to consider final approval of the 2018 budget when it meets Tuesday, Dec. 12.
As proposed, general fund revenues for 2018 total $9,337,797 with anticipated expenditures of $9,199,738 — a surplus of $138,059. With an estimated beginning balance of $5,340,045, an ending balance of $5,478,104 is projected.
Aldermen two years ago adopted a fund-balance policy mandating the city maintain a general fund reserve no less than 45 percent. The proposed budget anticipates a general fund reserve of 59.5 percent.
Simpson’s original budget projected general fund revenues totaling $9,403,290 with anticipated expenditures of $9,194,670 — a surplus of $208,620.
Included in the general fund are $525,000 in sales-tax revenue from Proposition P, a countywide half-cent sales tax for police and public safety, and roughly $1.3 million from Proposition C, a 45-cent tax-rate increase. Both measures were approved by voters in April.
Regarding the general fund, Simpson said at the Nov. 14 board meeting, “Some of the highlights: We’re restoring certain services. Not just enhancing services in public safety, but also restoring services in other areas. One of those is restarting the city newsletter, a critical community communications device that the city had been doing since the ’70s and was cut in the mid-2000s when the budget got tight …”
The general fund budget also includes a request to remove two part-time custodian positions and replace them with one full-time custodian position and eliminate one part-time clerk position and replace it with a full-time clerk.
“We’ve included funds for updating our zoning code, which this board has talked about at length,” Simpson said. “We are planning to do more in-house street slab replacements next year, and we’ve included an increase in the concrete line item for that.”
As proposed, parks and stormwater fund revenues total $1,778,484 with anticipated expenditures of $1,963,459 — a deficit of $184,975. With an estimated beginning balance of $1,010,205, an ending fund balance of $825,231 is projected.
Simpson’s original budget projected parks and stormwater fund revenues totaling $1,801,536 with anticipated expenditures of $1,954,584 — a deficit of $153,048.
Regarding the projected balance in the park and stormwater fund, Simpson said, “… I do not recommend further depletion of this fund balance, and the reason for the decrease in fund balance is primarily due to capital expenditures that are included in this fund totaling a little bit over $300,000. I don’t see, unless something changes significantly in this fund, the ability for this fund to sustain significant capital expenditures in future years. I hope that changes.”
Capital projects totaling $319,000 in the park and stormwater fund include renovating the men’s and women’s locker rooms at the Community Center so they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, replacing an HVAC unit in the center’s multipurpose room, new fitness equipment for the Community Center, replacing pool equipment and work at the Sappington House.
Two of the projects — the locker rooms and the HVAC unit — are carryover projects from 2017, Simpson noted.
For the capital improvement fund next year, total revenues of $2,390,450 are anticipated with projected expenditures of $3,531,899 — a deficit of $1,141,449.
With an estimated beginning balance of $2,315,375, an ending fund balance of $1,173,926 is anticipated.
Simpson’s original budget projected capital improvement fund revenues totaling $2,296,847 with anticipated expenditures of $3,439,782 — a deficit of $1,142,935.
Regarding the projected deficit, the city administrator said, “The primary reason for this disparity is the new Public Works facility. We received the bulk of the revenues, the reimbursement from MSD (Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District) in 2017, but we will incur the bulk of the expenditures in 2018. And so that timing issue is why it appears that there is a significant difference …”
The new Public Works facility is being constructed at 9353 Watson Industrial Park, and will replace the city’s existing facility at 8645 Pardee Lane. The existing Public Works facility is being demolished as part of an MSD project on Pardee Lane designed to alleviate overflows into Gravois Creek.
MSD is paying for the new Public Works building, which should be completed in early 2018.
Included in the proposed budget are renovations at Rayburn Park. The city applied for a grant of $320,000 for the project, but was awarded a grant of $397,800 from the Municipal Park Grant Commission. The proposed budget was amended to reflect the additional $77,800 in revenue.
The capital improvement fund also includes $300,000 for sidewalk replacement and tree removal.
During a Nov. 16 Ways and Means Committee meeting, Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel made a motion to remove the $300,000 for the sidewalk replacement and tree removal. Aldermen voted 7-1 against the motion with Miguel in favor.
Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie said, “I’m vehemently opposed. This is a culmination of a two-year discussion among the Board of Aldermen, public works, planning and zoning. It’s in the comprehensive plan. It was the first or second goal we gave Kris (Simpson) at the aldermanic retreat, as far as things to include in the budget … We haven’t fixed a sidewalk in the city for 12 years …”
As proposed, the sewer lateral fund projects total revenues of $138,580 with anticipated expenditures of $135,000 — a surplus of $3,580. With an estimated beginning balance of $268,077, an ending balance of $271,657 is projected.