Friday, 19 October 2012

Prattville ends fiscal year in better shape

PRATTVILLE — The city of Prattville ended the recent fiscal year in improving financial health, with revenues up about 14 percent over the same period last year.

Also, there is enough money in the debt reserve account to make the Nov. 1 bond payment of about $3 million without taking out another short-term, bridge loan. Interim Finance Director Doug Moseley gave the City Council the good news during his monthly budget update at the Tuesday night meeting.

There are still some outstanding bills as the fiscal year winds down, but for the most part, the year has closed out, he said.

?Year-to-date, we have received 13.96 percent more revenue this year than last year,? Moseley said. ?That?s very positive. Almost every single department is right on line with their budget. We?ve spent about 94 percent of our budget so far.

?There are some accruals that still need to come in. But we should end the year well below budget.?

The debt reserve fund has about $2.56 million now, he said.

?The additional $500,000 collected in October will put us right in line to make the November payment without taking out a bridge loan,? he continued. ?That?s always a positive sign.?

District 2 Councilman Willie Wood Jr. asked Mosley if there is any excess in the debt reserve account, and Moseley answered no.

?So we are running neck and neck with the additional sales tax making these payments that we have before us?? Wood asked.

?Correct,? Moseley answered.

The council overrode the mayor?s veto of the sales-tax extension Tuesday night. The 1-cent sales-tax increase, earmarked to pay the city?s debt service, will remain until Sept. 30, 2031, or until all the current city long-term debt is retired.

The additional sales tax, which brought the total sales-tax rate to 9.5 percent, brings in about $400,000 a month, according to records at City Hall. The bump was passed in March 2011.

The city?s financial woes started in October 2010, when it had to take out a bridge loan to pay the Nov. 1, 2010, bond payment. Another bridge loan was taken out for the May 1, 2011, payment. And a partial loan was taken out for the Nov. 1, 2011, payment. Those loans have been paid back.

No loan was taken out for the May 1 payment this year. The bond payments, used for incentives to land retail growth on the east side of town, are about $3 million on Nov. 1 and about $1 million on May 1.

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