Crestwood draft budget projects $238,000 in deficit spending

By EVAN YOUNG

Initial 2010 budget projections show Crestwood spending roughly $238,000 more than it will bring in across the city’s major funds.

Crestwood’s ways and means committee was scheduled this week to review the first draft of the city’s 2010 budget.

And while city officials have reduced projected expenditures from 2009 levels by more than $1.5 million, the budget shows a deficit of $238,737 across the general, capital improvement and park and stormwater funds.

The 2010 budget predicts the city will generate $11,921,489 in revenue and spend $12,160,226.

For 2009, Crestwood is slated to bring in a total of $13,752,661 and spend $13,702,736. With the use of $667,785 in cash reserves, 2009 revenues will rise to $13,752,661, creating a surplus of $49,925.

In 2010, Crestwood’s general fund is projected to take in $8,642,609 and spend $8,459,726 — a surplus of $182,883. It is projected to have a low balance of $1,619,149 in April 2010.

The capital improvement fund initially is projected to realize revenues of $1,197,480 and spend $1,106,086 — a surplus of $91,394. However, officials are recommending the transfer of $600,000 from this fund to the park and stormwater fund so the latter can make an April 1 debt payment on the certificates of participation issued in 2001 to construct Crestwood’s aquatic center.

The move would leave the capital improvement fund short $508,606, which would require the use of cash reserves to balance the fund.

The park and stormwater fund initially is projected to bring in $1,931,400 and spend $2,444,414 — a deficit of $513,014. With the $600,000 transfer from the capital improvement fund, the park and stormwater fund would show a surplus of $86,986.

The sewer lateral fund is projected to have revenues and expenditures balanced at $150,000.

Jan. 1, 2010 estimated cash balance projections are $1,632,703 for the general fund; $757,500 for the capital improvement fund; and $17,611 for the park and stormwater fund.

On Jan. 1, 2011, the city’s general fund is projected to have a cash balance of $1,815,522; the capital improvement fund, $184,958; and the park and stormwater fund, $170,954.

Crestwood’s total estimated cash balance, therefore, would be $2,407,814 on Jan. 1, 2010, and $2,171,434 on Jan. 1, 2011.

In 2010, the city’s general fund is expected to make the final payments on Crestwood’s annual-appropriation note with Royal Banks of Missouri.

City voters in 2006 approved Proposition S, a 20-cent tax-rate increase, to retire $2 million in debt and eliminate a $1.5 million line of credit.

Crestwood obtained the Royal Banks note to help retire that debt. The city will make a $303,000 principal payment on the note in March, followed by an $8,300 interest payment in September.

While all Crestwood employees received a $1,000 cost-of-living salary increase this year, none are budgeted in the general fund for 2010.

In his 2010 budget message, City Administrator Jim Eckrich wrote that even though he wanted to give employees salary increases, the Consumer Price Index has decreased by 1.5 percent over the last year — therefore keeping him from recommending cost-of-living pay raises.

In addition, city staff is working on a new pay plan for employees and hopes to present it to the Board of Aldermen early next year, Eckrich stated.

However, because officials don’t know the full cost of implementing the pay plan — or if aldermen will accept it — it is not yet budgeted for 2010, he wrote.

Among major expenditures within the capital improvement fund for 2010 are:

• $80,000 placed into savings for a fire truck.

• $48,000 for police needs.

• $66,750 information system needs.

• $600,000 for asphalt mill and overlay.

• $80,000 for an asphalt rejuvenator project.

• $26,000 in building maintenance.

• $120,000 for a 2.5 ton truck with plow and spreader.

No major park and stormwater projects are budgeted for 2010.