Alcohol and occupational tax revenues for fiscal year 2011-12 were higher than projected, which helped the city end the year with a near $2-million budget surplus, Danville City Manager Ron Scott said Monday.
During the City Commission meeting, Scott and financial consultant Michele Gosser presented the financial report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Due to a near 10.3-percent increase in revenues, as well as most city departments coming in under budget, Danville has an extra $1.8 million in its general fund, according to the report.
“I’m hopeful that this is an indication that our local economy may be on the upswing,” Scott said.
Scott also praised department heads for their “good management of operating expenses.”
The area in which the city came in slightly over budget in expenses was the water treatment plant expansion, according to the report. That project, which was supposed to begin construction in September, came in $6,897 over budget. A lack of anticipated federal grants contributed to that “very minor amount,” Scott said. City officials hope to start construction on the $27.5 million project in December.
Mayor Bernie Hunstad praised the financial report, noting his agreement that the unexpected hurdles with the water treatment project had slightly “skewed” some of the city’s financial figures.
“It’s a great report,” Hunstad said. “I know there’s many cities our size that are less fortunate.”
During the public comments portion of the meeting, resident J.P. Brantley asked city officials if any paving projects were put on the back burner in 2011-12.
“It’s great to be ahead of budget but not if we’re not getting things done,” Brantley said.
Assistant City Engineer Josh Morgan said in response that the city always has streets that can be paved, but that no major projects were set aside in order to save money, especially with the vice presidential debate coming up at Centre College in October.
In other business, City Commissioners unanimously approved a three-year contract with Civic Financial Advisors of Lexington. The company will work to find bond funding for city projects, especially the water treatment plant expansion, Scott said.
Before casting his vote, Commissioner J.H. Atkins asked if this was the same company that Chris Bowling, the son of former mayor and interim city manager John W.D. Bowling, represented at a previous City Commission meeting. Scott said yes.
Civic Financial Advisors would earn no more than $35,000 regardless of the amount of bonds they help secure on the city’s behalf, according to the contract.