Budget reflects favorable conditions

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 9, 2013

A review of the first-quarter budget for fiscal year 2012-13 shows the city in better shape than projected a few years ago, said Finance Director Larry Claeson.

“Right now, we are looking at a projected rainy-day balance of $13.9 million, or $3.2 million (more) than we thought we had just a short time ago,” he said in his report to City Council in December.

The difference, he said, is a “net effect of us having favorable budget variances over the last two years. These things accumulate.”

According to budget amendments approved by City Council, the carryover money from fiscal year 2011-12, and the fact that city departments are continuing to monitor expenses, has put the city in a better position than expected.

The first amendment accounts for the carryover from 2011-12, which re-established a budget for uncompleted projects. The second amendment reflects the actual payment the city has to make to DTE/Suburban Alliance LED Street Lighting Project. A third accounts for the donation from the Fred J. Maloof Family Foundation to pay for the new pavilion at Veterans Memorial Park. Another amendment accounts for more spending from the reinstatement of a part-time security position for the city-owned boat marinas initially eliminated in the budget, but it points out that boat ramp and well revenues are $9,200 higher this year than the year before.

The city also amended the budget to reflect the gain associated with the sale of two foreclosed homes purchased and rehabilitated by the city, as well as a grant to the Fire Department and the adjustment for new rates from the South Macomb Sanitary District, the allocation of a part-time grounds maintenance position and the awarding of a bid to CivicPlus for the city’s new website. 

“We’re in a lot better shape now than we anticipated we were less than two years ago,” Claeson said.

Overall, city officials said they were happy with the numbers so far.

This “shows the good health of St. Clair Shores, and we’re all proud of that,” said Mayor Kip Walby.