Surplus projection drops in proposed Crestwood budget

Work session on ’07 budget still unscheduled

By BURKE WASSON

After initially projecting a surplus of more than $200,000 at the end of 2007, Crestwood leaders now estimate the city will have $167,353 in reserves at the end of next year.

The city’s administration has prepared a proposed 2007 budget, which will be considered by the Board of Aldermen at its last meeting of the year on Dec. 12.

The main reason for the drop in previously anticipated reserves is the city will pay more in 2007 on its line-of-credit principal payment to Royal Banks of Missouri than first projected. The city actually will pay $553,708 on next year’s principal payment instead of the earlier projected $520,000, according to Assistant City Administrator Justina Tate.

Of the budgeted $167,353 surplus for the end of 2007, $165,364 is projected to come from the general fund. The city’s capital-improvements fund is budgeted for a surplus of $1,872, and the city’s park and stormwater fund is budgeted for a surplus of $118.

Of all three funds, city leaders have budgeted $13,721,685 in revenue for all of 2007. That totals $1 million more than the projected revenue to be collected in all three funds by the end of this year — a total of $12,626,661.

The total expenditures from all three funds for next year are budgeted at $13,554,332, which is nearly $2 million more in expenses than the $11,590,161 in costs that have been projected in all funds by the end of this year. To help cover those costs, the city will use funds from its projected $1,036,500 surplus at the end of this year.

Much of those increased expenses are being used in the capital-improvements fund, which is budgeted to see roughly $1.9 million more in expenses next year than has been projected in the city’s third-quarter financial review for all of this year. The administration reports that much of these increased expenses in that fund will come from the Grant Road reconstruction, which is estimated to cost $1,261,000. But 80 percent of that cost will be reimbursed through a federal grant.

Besides the Grant Road project, the city has also included expenses in its capital-improvement fund for $292,255 in mill and overlay projects and $95,000 for the lease/purchase of communication equipment for the police department.

The administration expects to see revenue of $8,999,902 in the general fund next year. That is more anticipated revenue in the general fund than the $8,600,116 that City Administrator Frank Myers and Tate have projected to be collected in that fund by the end of this year.

City leaders budgeted $8,860,144 in general-fund expenditures in 2007. That is more money being spent out of the general fund than the projected $8,712,172 detailed in the city’s third-quarter financial review. The general fund also will see $155,605 in transfers from the capital-improvement fund and contribute $130,000 to the park and stormwater fund.

The capital-improvement fund has a projected revenue of $2,536,282 in 2007, which is just less than $1 million more than the $1,598,136 that has been projected to be earned in that fund by the end of 2007.

As for expenses in the capital-improvement fund, the city has projected $2,378,805 in costs for all of 2007, which is slightly more than $1.9 million higher than the $467,620 projected to be spent out of that fund by the end of this year. This year’s capital-improvement fund also includes more than $700,000 in interfund transfers. Next year’s budgeted capital-improvement fund is expected to transfer $155,605 to the general fund.

The city’s park and stormwater fund is expected to generate $2,185,501 in 2007 — less than the $2,428,409 projected to be collected in that fund by the end of 2006.

Budgeted expenditures in the park and stormwater fund for 2007 have been set higher than budgeted revenues. The city expects to spend $2,315,383 in the park and stormwater fund by the end of next year. That is less than the $2,410,369 expected to be spent in that fund by the end of this year.

To replenish those funds in the park and stormwater fund to end 2007 with a positive balance, $130,000 has been budgeted to go to the park and stormwater fund from the general fund. That will leave the park and stormwater fund with a budgeted surplus of $118 by the end of 2007.

While the Crestwood administration has prepared the proposed budget for 2007, city leaders must still answer another question — when they will meet to discuss it and possibly make changes.

A budget work session originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, was postponed due to scheduling conflicts. At press time, Myers was weighing options of when to schedule the work session.

Other than Myers’ efforts to coordinate a budget work session, the amount of total work placed on him from aldermen was also put into question at last week’s board meeting by Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding.

“Our city administrator has a job to do,” he said. “And we’ve got to police something to where his time is not spent — his or her time, whoever the next one is, whatever — is not spent constantly being directed by aldermen to do work constantly, constantly. There’s got to be a point where they have to do their job. And it’s obvious who everyone thinks I’m picking on. But I’m not picking on that person. I just think it’s a serious crisis that if our city administrator can’t get work done because we’re all telling him to do this and telling him to do that. I know he does work for us. But there’s got to be a point where the man has to do his job …”

Mayor Roy Robinson said, “One thing we try to do is accommodate any alderman as much as possible. But those who persist know that I will say something to them about the fact that they ought not take up so much time. I think the best thing to do is let this gentleman (Myers) do his job. If he feels he needs help, he’ll probably come to me and I’ll come back to the board and say we’ve got to do something. Let’s hope that people will recognize that Mr. Myers is not their own person to do things constantly. The staff is not on duty to be doing everything everybody else wants done. They follow direction from Mr. Myers. And I try to make that pretty clear. And he’s never turned anybody down that I know of. But you (Breeding) are right. It does take a lot of his time.

“And sometimes we border — and I’ve made this statement to the board and I don’t want to mention any names — we border on violation of the charter when you demand so much. He (Myers) has a job to do. You don’t go down into detail to the way he runs his management. I don’t do it. And I don’t think any alderman should be doing it. I know where you’re coming from.”