City commissioners this week approved the 2017 budget for the city of McPherson, announcing a final figure of $46,482,443 at Monday’s public hearing after months of deliberation.
City Administrator Nick Gregory explained in more detail how that figure is broken down.
“From where we started the budget in January, February, we’ve come quite a ways down,” Gregory said. “I will say that of that $46,482,000… the actual spending in 2016 [is projected to be] about $21 million -- $21,873,000. That actual figure includes reserves and everything else within all of the various funds that are out there.
“We do sharpen the knife once we get into the budget season,” Gregory added. “But we do have to budget all of our reserves as well, and so that’s the reason that number looks so high as it is.”
The projected net expenditures for 2016 are expected to be down about $300,000 from what the city spent in 2015. But factors other than actual spending come into play when calculating the annual budget.
“We have budgeted all reserves and we continue to budget reserves for waste water and other items that do not receive property tax benefit,” explained Mayor Tom Brown. “That’s why the budget has a difference between actual expenditures and the reserve, so that we’re planning for the future.”
Reserves serve as a cushion to help the city pay for unexpected expenditures as they arise rather than accruing more debt.
“So when something comes up, we will try to do as much as possible out-of-pocket and less out of bonds,” Mayor Brown said.
He went on to say that the city’s debt in the last three years has even been going down.
“GO (General Obligation) bonds are down about $2 million, Revenue Bonds are down about two and a half million… as we continue to try to work those kinds of things, we will try to make that kind of progress.”
The city also tries to keep a reserve in the budget for emergencies such as a storm or other natural disaster.
“Because if you have a storm, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will not bring money in immediately,” Mayor Brown explained. “So we do have a reserve that will help us address that in case we need that for a severe catastrophe; we’ll have money available to the community while we wait for FEMA, the state, and the federal government to make any decisions on what they might do for an assistance in case of a crisis.”
The 2017 budget certificate will be available on the city website later this week at www.mcpcity.com
For more information on the city’s budget, contact the city clerk.