East Carbon City fights to shore up sagging finances
The East Carbon City Council reviewed the city's sagging finances for the past year during the council meeting on August 23 after a report was given by their auditor.
Lane Peterson audited the city's finances and gave his report to the city during Tuesday's council meeting.
Peterson announced that the special revenue fund was not looking as good as the city had hoped for the last year when the officials had prepared East Carbon's budget.
The expenditures of the city were apparently not the problem. The officials had kept within the amounts expected in last year's budget with the city's spending, according to the auditor.
Peterson stated that the lack of property tax revenue dropped the city's finances dramatically, leaving a large gap in the city's coffers and in the special revenue fund.
To rectify the shortage in the city's special revenue fund, Peterson had moved $40,000 from the general fund over to the special revenue fund for the time being.
The special revenue fund contains money to cover the city's bonds.
Peterson suggested replacing the $40,000 deficit in the general operating revenues by transferring money from the city's water or the capitol projects fund.
Mayor Andrews stated that the city would have to take the needed funds from the capitol projects fund.
The city also came up $16,000 short in transfers that the officials had budgeted for the water, sewer and garbage funds.
Only $60,000 was available for transfers budgeted by the city that amounted to $76,000.
Peterson asked if the city wanted the $16,000 needed to make the budget moved from the capital projects fund as well.
The mayor seemed reluctant to move any more money from the capitol projects fund, which the city had been keeping as a kind of nest egg for troubling financial times.
Since the transfers in the funds were not on the agenda, the proposed actions could not be voted on by the council.
Mayor Andrews decided to have the funds transfer added to the agenda of the next council meeting on Sept. 13 as a resolution where the city council could vote on it and pass it if possible.
Addressing an unrelated matter, the East Carbon City Council decided to try for a community development block grant for the 2006-2007 year that provides about $70,000 to Carbon County on an annual basis.
Mayor Dale Andrews asked the council if they wanted to take the time to apply for the grant. Andrews said that writing for the grant would be a very time consuming project.
The state of Utah's CDBG program provides grants to cities and towns of fewer than 50,000 in population and counties of fewer than 200,000 that are in need of community development.
In Utah, the CDBG program is based on public input through local governments which establish priority projects in need that are consistent with state and federal guidelines.
The grant funds went to Helper in the past to improve problems with their water system problems.
Classes on how to apply for the grant are held every September. The city will be sending their city recorder, Elizabeth Marquez to the class to learn how to apply for the grant. The class will be in Price on September 28.
East Carbon City had applied and been awarded with funds from the CDBG grant in the past. Remodeling of the old city hall, the addition to the local health clinic and the building of the maintenance garage was all done with past CDBG funds.
Councilmember Darlene Kunz asked if she could attend the class on applying for the grant with Marquez so she could help her in the long process of applying for the necessary grant. Andrews agreed with this and said she could go with.
A motion was made to send Marquez and Kunz to the class and it was seconded. The motion passed unanimously.