Aberdeen budget in good shape at midyear mark

Finance Director says revenues are up, expenditures down

Revenues are up and expenditures are down in the City of Aberdeen, Finance Manager Mike Folkers told the Aberdeen City Council Wednesday evening.

He gave a six-month wrap up of the first two quarters of the year before the meeting was officially called to order, and said the city was on track to meet or exceed its budget goals by the end of the year. Revenues were up by about $150,000 from the first two quarters of 2016 — $7,221,868 compared to $7,075,075 in 2016 — while expenditures during this time frame have gone down by about $100,000 — $6,679,101 compared to $6,767,630 last year.

Part of the reason for the increase in revenue is the public safety tax, which raised the sales tax rate in Aberdeen to 8.93 percent this year, but Folkers said it’s also partly because there has been an increase in business development in the area. Revenue from building, mechanical, electrical and plumbing permits and plan check fees hit $162,501, nearly 70 percent of the $240,000 yearly amount projected when the budget was passed. Revenues from emergency services, sewer and water are also on track to meet their budgeted amounts.

As for expenditures, Folkers said the city is right on track in the general fund, the money from which city services like police, fire, 911 and other city departments get their money to operate. As of the end of June, the city had spent $6,679,101 of the $13,879,190 they had budgeted for the year, 48.1 percent. Emergency service, sewer and water expenditures are also on track to stay within the budget in 2017.

In looking ahead to 2018, Folkers said he wanted to take a “collaborative approach” to forming the city’s budget, involving local business leaders and other stakeholders in the process. The $5 million in reserves the city has also needs to be maintained, he said, and he also is recommending the council consider adding two other accounts, an Economic Uncertainty Account and a Council Special Projects Account. The first would provide a cushion in the case of a major economic downturn in the city, the second would provide a fund for the council to have on hand for special projects when they arise.