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Jackson officials say 2005 budget spending not far off mark

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

In a $20 million budget, exceeding specific funding appropriations by $140,000 isn't too bad, say Jackson city officials.

The board of aldermen voted to amend the 2005 budget at Monday night's regular meeting.

"This is something done every year," said Larry Koenig, assistant city administrator. "It's basically a formality we do at the first of the year."

The city appropriated more than $327,000 of the water and sewer surplus to pay for the "pressure-reducing valve project." The project was part of a citywide water system upgrade. Pressure-reducing valves were installed at residents' homes because the upgrades provided pressure that exceeded acceptable household levels.

But the actual expenditures totaled more than $415,000 -- close to an additional $88,000 for the project.

The additional costs were due to the unanticipated high well costs and high service pump project overages, said Jim Roach, city administrator.

Another unexpected cost to the city in the past year was the high price of fuel. Sales tax revenue provides funding to cover fuel costs for city departments. More than $15,000 exceeded the fuel budget in the last year.

"We estimated the amount of fuel needed at the first of the year and no one really anticipated the high cost of fuel," Roach said. "I was expecting it to be a lot higher than what it was. Especially with the high costs of natural gas but luckily we had a pretty mild winter."

The Park Foundation exceeded its budget due to the city's new skateboard and soccer parks. But expenditures from donations from the city's two Optimist Clubs, and donations for the soccer park, that were received had not been budgeted in.


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