Marysville's financial future said looking bright
Marysville's financial future is bright despite years of deficit spending, Mayor Bill Harris said Tuesday in his annual State of the City address.
“The city's financial situation is improving in a positive way,” said Harris, who recently completed his first full year at the city's helm.
In June, the City Council adopted a spending plan for 2005-06 with a nearly $1 million deficit to its $7.6 million general fund, which pays for most day-to-day city services, like police protection. City officials were optimistic, saying they were willing to ride out another year in the red in anticipation of certain revenues increasing.
The last time the city didn't start the year with a spending shortfall was in 2000, when the council approved a balanced budget with a $100,000 surplus. Since then, city jobs and services have hit the chopping block.
With half of this fiscal year - which began July 1 - completed, there have been some positive developments, according to Dixon Coulter, the city's administrative services manager.
In his monthly budget report to the council, Coulter said land sales and loan payoff revenues have cut the budgeted deficit to less than $150,000 this fiscal year. But those are one-time revenues that don't begin to address the city's “structural” shortfall, which city officials attribute mostly to rising employee costs.
Some revenues, Coulter said in his report to the council, are giving the city hope. Certain fees, such as garbage collection and motor vehicle licenses, are expected to exceed their budgeted amounts. And in the first four months of operation, the city's red light camera program garnered about $197,000, although violations have dropped since the program began.
“Things are going well financially in the city,” Harris said in his address. “A balanced budget is within our grasp for next summer's budget cycle.”
Harris used the bulk of his nearly 10-minute address, given during the City Council's regular meeting, to praise the efforts of city staff and to highlight various public safety and commercial efforts in 2005.
“Marysville is a unique, safe and wonderful city to live in,” he said. “With the continuing partnership between our city government and our citizens, there is no limit to what we all can achieve working together.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Thigpen can be reached at 749-4713. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.