Crestwood board adopts 2010 budget balanced with $138,000 from reserves

Aldermen vote to post audio of meetings on city Web site

By EVAN YOUNG

A 2010 city budget balanced by using roughly $138,000 in cash reserves was approved last week by the Crestwood Board of Aldermen.

The board voted unanimously Dec. 8 to approve the second reading of the 2010 general fund; capital improvement fund; park and stormwater fund; and sewer lateral fund budgets.

Crestwood is projected to bring in $11,928,989 and spend $12,067,010 next year across those four funds. The city is expected to use $138,021 from capital improvement fund cash reserves to balance the budget, City Administrator Jim Eckrich said.

The budget projects general fund revenues of $8,650,109 for 2010 and expenditures of $8,393,510, leaving a surplus of $256,599.

The capital improvement fund is slated to bring in $1,197,480 and spend $1,074,086 in 2010, a surplus of $123,394.

However, $600,000 will be transferred from this fund to the park and stormwater fund early next year to help the latter fund make an April 1 debt payment on certificates of participation issued in 2001 to construct Crestwood’s aquatic center. The transfer will leave the capital improvement fund short $476,606.

The park and stormwater fund is projected to see 2010 revenues of $1,931,400 and expenditures of $2,449,414, creating a $518,014 deficit. After the $600,000 capital improvement fund transfer, however, the park and stormwater fund will show a surplus of $81,986.

Sewer lateral fund revenues and expenditures are balanced at $150,000 for 2010.

Jan. 1 cash projections are $1,632,703 for the general fund; $757,500 for the capital improvement fund; and $17,600 for the park and stormwater fund. On Dec. 31, 2010, the general fund is projected to have a cash balance of $1,889,302; the capital improvement fund, $200,894; and the park and stormwater fund, $99,586.

Crestwood, therefore, will have an estimated $2,407,803 in total cash on Jan. 1 and an estimated $2,189,782 on Dec. 31, 2010.

Between the reduction of $32,000 from capital improvement fund expenditures and $70,416 from general fund expenditures in light of a Crestwood firefighter’s recent resignation, the projected amount of cash reserves needed to balance the 2010 budget dropped to $138,021 from initial projections of roughly $240,000.

Six public-safety positions — three police officers and three firefighters — are being eliminated through attrition as part of the city’s five-year plan to reduce annual expenditures. The most recent firefighter resignation is the fourth of those positions to be removed.

The salaries of the two remaining police officer positions, roughly $138,500 in all, will be removed from the budget once the positions are vacated.

Aldermen also recently approved a $32,000 reduction of capital improvement expenditures, voting to reduce the number of streets scheduled to be overlaid in 2010 from 18 to 17.

In other business, the board voted unanimously Dec. 8 to:

• Establish a policy that requires the city to post audio recordings of all Board of Aldermen meetings on its Web site.

The policy, requested by Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild in October, requires meeting audio to be posted within 72 hours of the event. It includes all regular and special aldermanic meetings, as well as board work sessions.

The audio files, which can be downloaded as MP3s, will be available for one year after they are posted.

• Approve a contract with Tech Electronics for the purchase of a new, $88,342 phone system for the city. The current, 12-year-old system is outdated and frequently malfunctions, sometimes resulting in city staff being unable to retrieve voice mail messages, Management Information Systems Coordinator Gordon Shaffar said.

The board also approved an amendment to the 2009 capital improvement fund budget to reflect the phone system purchase.