Lindsay makes more than it spends midway through the year
For the first time since the housing crash of 2008, the City of Lindsay’s revenues are outpacing expenditures through the first half of the year.
At the Lindsay City Council meeting, Finance Director Tamara Laken presented the Council with her annual Mid Year Budget Update. Laken’s report stated the City has spent $5.2 million halfway through the 2013-14 fiscal year but has collected more than $5.6 million in revenue.
Much of the black ink can be found in the Special Revenue Funds, including Assessment Districts, Land Application and Curb & Gutter. Total expenses for the fund are just $392,000 (including $345,000 for road work) with revenues coming in at $588,398. Capital Improvement Fund for Streets has spent $345,000 but the City has collected $537,000 through its Street Improvement Fund, which bodes well for the City’s aggressive road repair timeline through the end of this year.
Another chunk can be found in the Gas Tax and Transportation Fund, where revenues ($633,000) are more than double expenditures ($225,000). City utility funds are also fairing well with Water, Sewer and Refuse all seeing revenues exceeding expenses by 12-15% at the midway mark.
The revenues in these areas more than offsetting loses in other Enterprise Funds that continue to struggle, such as the McDermont Field House and Wellness Center. McDermont has only collected revenues to cover three-quarters of its expenses. The largest losses are at the Wellness Center, which has only generated enough revenue to cover 21% of its expenses.
Overall, this is good new for Lindsay which has been working diligently to minimize debt service payments, while controlling costs as the local economy begins to recover.
The City, which has been criticized for accepting grants that requiring matching funds, is also getting ready to close many of its open grants with various state and federal agencies. Laken reported the City only had eight open grants, several of which have been completed or are nearly completed.
Lindsay completed its $35,000 water feasibility study last year and has already begun its $35,000 water rate study set to be complete this spring.
Lindsay has spent about two-thirds of its $250,000 grant to provide after school programming to Lindsay High School, which is set to expire in September. Last fall, Lindsay used three-quarters of its $125,000 Vet-2-Cop grant to hire a military veteran as a full-time police officer for the next three years.
The largest open grant is also the next to be closed. The $1.25 million grant to build and provide fist-time homebuyer loans for Sequoia Villas subdivision on Alameda and Sequoia Drive is nearly complete. The project was transferred from the City to the Tulare County Housing Authority in 201X as part of the state-mandated dissolution of the Lindsay Redevelopment Agency. The Housing Authority has nearly built-out the subdivision and the grant will be closed once the City’s final closing report is accepted by California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
The largest untapped fund is a $1 million CalHOME grant through HCD. The City was granted an extension for the grant last May because it did not have enough people apply for the down payment assistance program before the grant deadline.
Another untouched fund is a $115,636 Bicycle Transportation Act grant. The Caltrans grant was created to improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters. Eligible projects include bikeways along major transportation corridors, bicycle parking at employment centers, bicycle carrying equipment on transit vehicles, traffic control devices to improve safety and any planning, engineering documents or construction associated with the project. The City has until April 2017 to use the funds.