CLEARFIELD — Having too much in its reserve accounts led the city council to modify its fiscal year 2012 budget and add roughly $659,000 in funds.
City Manager Adam Lenhard said that just as in other recent years, the city had a fund balance in excess of 18 percent of next year’s general fund revenues, the maximum the state allows.
“We don’t want to use the general fund as an emergency or rainy-day fund,” Lenhard said. “That’s why we keep the reserves. It’s like a savings account. The state wants the city to have enough to respond to emergencies.”
When the city has in excess of that 18 percent, though, the overage needs to be spent. The city recently had $659,298 above that 18 percent mark.
Lenhard said, “We realized savings through various projects,” including not filling positions and reorganizing staff internally. “That money needs to be reprogrammed.”
The city council recently approved budget adjustments for a number of items, which equaled the roughly $659,000 fund balance. This includes $16,000 for software; $10,000 for a Legend Hills Traffic Study; $112,781 in salary expenses; and $20,000 for public safety communications.
Lenhard said notable projects include converting the old City Hall into an arts center. There is $40,000 allotted for this project, which includes making improvements, such as new carpet and paint and a new electrical panel.
The city did a feasibility study earlier this year that had recommendations to better use the space. Officials decided an arts center would be a good use.
“We’re going to make that conversion step by step,” Lenhard said. “We felt like we will get a lot of bang for our buck on these first improvements.”
The city also is redoing the multimedia presentation hardware in the council chambers. It will be changed to a ceiling-mounted projector with a screen behind the council for attendees to watch. Council members and the mayor will also have screens where they sit so they can see that information as well.
This upgrade is expected to cost $22,000.
“Technology changes so quickly,” Lenhard said, pointing to the need for new equipment. “You can’t really even see the screens we have now when sitting in the audience. We just have screens on either side of the room right now.”
Lenhard said the improvements will benefit the council and any residents attending the meetings.
While such changes as the new multimedia upgrade are coming from the fund balance, other changes were made as well. These include reprogramming $45,100 of Community Block Development Grant funds for a project on 300 East and adding funds to donation accounts.
All of these changes were recently approved in the regularly scheduled city council meeting.