Crestwood budget has City Hall upgrades

Crestwood City Hall

Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Crestwood City Hall

By Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

The Crestwood Ways and Means Committee recommended the city’s proposed 2020 budget after a nearly three-hour meeting in October, with aldermen making no changes or amendments to the budget as it was presented.

As currently proposed, the budget projects total revenues of $13.81 million and total expenditures of $14.84 million, with a roughly $1 million deficit. The general fund has $11.27 million set aside for expenditures with a projected revenue of $10.27 million.

Assistant City Administrator Sarah Belcher told the committee the $1 million deficit is due to a planned drawdown of funds for reconstruction and renovation projects at City Hall after a water main break in August caused extensive damage to the building.

“For the time being, the general fund assumes insurance-covered reconstruction expenses to be $305,000 and city-funded renovation expenses to be $700,000,” said Belcher. “Removing these two large expenses would reduce the 2020 budgeted expenditures to $10.3 million. The end result would be a budget fund surplus of $539.”

The capital improvement fund assumes revenues of $1.1 million with estimated expenditures of $1.2 million, with a $77,641 deficit. The parks and stormwater fund estimates $2.3 million in revenue and $2.3 million in expenditures with $40,398 in surplus. The sewer lateral fund has revenues of $140,800 and expenditures of $135,000, with a $5,800 surplus.

The ending fund balance is estimated at $8.9 million and the fund balance reserve, as a percent of expenditures, is 56 percent, above the board’s 45-percent policy.

In what is perhaps a first in recent history, the committee did not recommend any amendments to the budget as it was presented. The committee, which in the past has met over the course of multiple nights to discuss the proposed budget, only met for one night Oct. 28.

Some highlights of the budget include $6.65 million in revenue from sales/use tax across the general fund, capital improvement fund and parks and stormwater fund, while $2.57 million in revenue will come from property taxes. Utility taxes will generate $1.43 million in revenue.

Out of total expenditures, public-safety expenditures account for the majority of expenses at $6.67 million, with $3.19 million for the Crestwood Police Department and $3.48 million for the Fire Department, followed by $4.56 million for public works. General fund expenditures total $11.27 million, while capital improvement expenditures total $1.17 million and parks and stormwater expenditures total $2.27 million.

At the Ways and Means meeting, Ward 4 Alderman Tony Kennedy requested a breakdown of how the money spent on City Hall was being allocated.

“Reconstruction work is insurance funded. Those are things that are necessary to bring back City Hall to where we were pre-flood. For example, the bottom 24 inches of drywall had to be removed in the basement… Insurance pays for all of that, pays to put new drywall in, but they won’t necessarily pay to paint the drywall,” said Simspon. “The $700,000 are over and above reconstruction projects… such as repainting the walls, getting an improved audio-visual setup… New chairs for the audience and aldermen… Redoing and expanding the Police Department locker room… What we’ve got is a nice, tight list of high-value needs, things that either residents will appreciate as they use the Government Center, things that the board will appreciate as they use this room (the chambers) and things that our employees will appreciate that are long overdue.”

The city has already received over $315,000 in insurance payouts, with another $120,000 incoming, Simpson said. The insurance payouts are accounted for in the 2020 budget under the revenue section.

A public hearing will be held on the 2020 budget at 7 p.m. at the Nov. 26 Board of Aldermen meeting, in City Hall at 1 Detjen Drive. Simpson will also give a budget summary. The budget can be found at City Hall or www.cityofcrestwood.org.