By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - A year-end budget amendment was approved for 2012-13 by the Iron Mountain City Council at a meeting Monday resulting in a slight decrease to the general fund deficit of $271 and an unreserved, undesignated fund balance of $1,368,326 as of June 30.
According to Carol Bartolameoli, chief finance officer for the city of Iron Mountain, the only revenue being amended was in state grants - an increase of $10,781, which was based on recent estimates by the state of Michigan.
On the expenditure side, the general fund increased by $10,510. Amendments included increasing public safety by $37,297, which was mainly as a result of increased police department overtime due to several officers being on extended leave.
In her memo to the council, Bartolameoli said that while the actual regular overtime costs are expected to go over budget by $81,400, regular salaries and wages would come under budget by approximately $21,000. This was the result of two officers being on family medical leave without pay along with estimated net decreases in other expenditures for both the police and fire departments.
In addition, the amendment also showed that general government decreased by $15,900, of which $5,990 is a decrease in the executive department or city manager's budget. Professional services and education and training are expected to come in well under budget at fiscal end, the memo stated. The attorney area also decreased by $9,200 based on actual year-to-date expenditures through May.
City Manager Jordan Stanchina said that was due to not spending all that was budgeted under costs for the city's labor attorney fees.
Bartolameoli also told the council that the amendment includes a decrease in public works by $28,097 and is based on year-to-date lower than budgeted wages and fringe benefits of $33,097 coupled with an estimated increased of $5,000 in electric charges incurred.
Under recreation and cultural, this fund also increased in the budget amendment by $16,500, which included an increase of $19,700 to the parks and recreation department for higher-than-budgeted costs.
This is mainly the result of increased labor and benefit costs for the City Park improvement project along with an estimated decrease in community promotion expenditures of $3,200.
Along with approving the budget amendment, the council approved amending the General Appropriations Act of 2012-13 which was adopted on May 21, 2012, and amended on Feb. 4.
Other amendments detailed Monday were revenues for the equipment replacement fund, which was increased by $8,000 for a federal grant expected to be received for a new squad car. The grant was not included in the current year's budget.
Expenditures were also increased by $2,000, which is the estimated increase in cost for a new squad car with a V-8 engine versus a V-6 engine, which may be purchased before the end of the fiscal year. The result of the amendment to this fund was an increase of $6,000 to the fund balance as of June 30.
Revenues in the water utility fund were not amended at this time, Bartolameoli told the council, but expenses were increased by $380,115.
She said that collections were increased by $3,115 based on estimated higher than budget year-to-date expenses incurred for labor, health insurance and office supplies.
Administration was decreased by $8,000 based on lower than budgeted expenses for general liability insurance and equipment rental.
"Debt service makes up the vast majority of the amendment to expenses in the water utility fund in the amount of $385,000. Of this amount, $295,000 was the additional principal payment approved by council and $90,000 was the first payment on the refunded bonds principal which occurred in March along with the regular bond principal payment on the old bonds," she said in the memo.
The result of this amendment for the water utility fund was an increase in the net loss of $380,115 for the year. The total net loss is estimated to be $756,527.
The final fund discussed in the amendment was health insurance and only the expenditures of this fund were increased - by $4,427. This was based on year-to-date actual costs for retiree health insurance premiums. The result was a decrease in the fund balance for health insurance by $4,427 and the fund's estimated balance as of June 30 is $273,194.
At Monday's meeting, the council also set two public hearings for July 15 at 6:30 p.m. The first will be a public hearing on the sign ordinance followed by council action to adopt the 58-page document that will replace the current ordinance. Many versions of this new ordinance have been drafted during the past seven years that it has been discussed.
A second public hearing was established for a request by Eagle Tool for city owned property. The city had vacated its interest on Woodward Avenue in 2012, which was a public road described as being from the east right-of-way line of Milwaukee Avenue, east on Woodward Avenue to the west line of the railroad right-of-way.
In this case, the city owns the property underneath the road, Stanchina told the council. The city of Kingsford has vacated their half of Woodward Avenue and now Eagle Tool is looking for the city of Iron Mountain to transfer ownership.
The city of Iron Mountain is following its real estate policy and Stanchina said that a quick claim deed for $1 would be appropriate in this situation. The deed would be drafted to transfer the strip of property - 33 feet wide by 130.27 feet long. This can be acted on following a public hearing and proper advertisement for three weeks.
In other action, the council:
- Took no action on a request by the Americans for Constitutional Enforcement (ACE) for the city to pay half of its liability insurance for the Fourth of July parade. ACE is looking for the city of Kingsford to also pay half of this cost.
- Agreed to close City Park on Saturday, July 27, from noon to 11 p.m. for the purpose of the fund-raising event, Saturday in the Park. Those coming to the park during the fund-raiser will be paying an admittance fee, which goes to support the city's match for renovation work under way as a part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant.
- Approved the purchase of a new squad car for the police department through the MIDeal state bidding process.
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.