The most valuable resources are time and money.
We talk about city finances all the time, and the short answer given –it’s complicated. I want to make it easier to understand. So, this is a big overview or Finances 101. At another time, we can get more specific. The City has three main funds. The General Fund has $8 million and supports those city services that cannot support themselves with an independent funding source. So, the average cost per person is $62/month to provide Police, Animal Control, Fire, EMS, Street, Transit, Planning, Inspections, Economic Development, Court, City Manager, Council, Finance, Buildings, and Human Resources.
So, where does this $62 come from: $35 comes from taxes, $8 comes from other city operations who use HR and Finance services; $8 comes from Charges for service such as riding the bus or using the ambulance; $5 comes from state and federal funds; $2 comesfrom interest income; $2 comes from municipal court fines; and $2 comes from licenses and permits such as getting a business license or building permit.
Typical expenses in this fund are Personnel (salary, benefits, training, uniforms, etc.); Fixed costs (utilities, insurance, phone, fuel); Operating and consumable supplies/expenses (building/equipment/vehicle maintenance, office supplies, department specific expenses that vary from department to department like dog food at Animal Control) and equipment service agreements, technology, etc.
We are a service organization, and can accomplish nothing without attracting and retaining exceptional employees. We strive to deliver excellent services and programs.
Revenues are not sufficient to include equipment/vehicle replacements, building improvements or construction in this fund. Nor is there revenue to add programs or services without changing current service levels.
The Special Revenue Fund has $4 million and is a collection of revenue sources that are used to enhance our operations and support projects to build up our community. These funds have limitations on how funds can be spent and must be maintained in separate accounts. So, the average cost per person is $30/month to provide E911, Public Safety Sales Tax, Transportation Trust, Road & Bridge, Capital Improvement Sales Tax, Construction Services, Parks/Recreation, Community Center and TIF.
Where does the $30 come from: $20 is from sales taxes; $7 is from charges for services like using the community center or playing on a ball team; and $3 comes from other city operations who need Construction Services to build a project like a rock retaining wall, or the Golf Course Pavilion.
The Chart below describes the type of activities that are funded by each of these budgets. The type of expenditures are described. The expenditure of these funds is the most visible because it represents most of our construction projects around town. So, when these projects are selected, we use Citizen Oversight Committees to guide the selection, design, and review construction progress. This also generates the most comments on social media, such as -“why do you build a dog park when my private septic system is outdated?” So, the answer is the Park/Recreation Department is building a dog park, and their funding sources are limited to Park/Recreation uses. The department chose to build a dog park, because citizen’s surveys ranked a dog park as their greatest need.
The Enterprise Fund has $10 million and includes business activities that are supported by revenues generated from their operation. So, the average cost per person is $75/month to provide water, sewer, trash, cemetery, golf, and airport. The revenue source is the charge for services or rent, such as farm leases.