As it stands, Milford residents should not expect a tax increase or any changes to water, sewer, trash and electric services from the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget expected to be voted on by city council June 24.
Council held its second budget review session on June 12, and the proposed FY 2014 budget is balanced, with revenues and expenditures both at $41,471,185. Once approved, The FY 2014 budget will go into effect on July 1.
Finance Director Jeff Portmann discussed the capital projects and capital reserves that are available during the June 12 budget meeting.
The FY 2014 capital budget totals close to $2.3 million. This money will be used for projects such as purchasing equipment and vehicles, as well as maintenance on parks, streets and infrastructure.
Portmann also reviewed the various reserve funds with the council members. The reserve funds are separate from the general fund and capital budget and are meant to be used for long-term projects and for emergency projects when needed.
There is $182,868 available in the general fund reserves, Portmann said.
As of April 30, there was $5,368,155 in the water reserve funds, he said said. After allotting $287,000 worth of water reserve money to the Fiscal Year 2014 capital budget, and with approximately $3.5 million in funds earmarked for six longer-ranged projects, ranging from valve replacements to improvements to the Washington Street water tank, the water reserve is slated to be left with $593,155.
Portmann said the sewer reserve held $3,540,196 as of April 30. Money from this fund has been earmarked for nine proposed projects. The projects include, but are not limited to, repairs to several of the city’s pump stations. If all proposed projects are complete, the sewer reserves will be left with $391,151 available.
The general, water and sewer reserves also have an additional $1 million to maintain the minimum balance in emergency funds. The electric reserve has a $3-million minimum reserve balance for emergencies.
As of April 30, the electric reserve had a balance of $11,106,224, Portmann said. Eight projects have been proposed and electric funds have been earmarked. If all of those projects are carried out, the electric reserve would be left with the minimum balance of $3 million for emergency funds. Proposed projects include funding the new substation and implementing a new system for electric metering.
Any of the projects that have been proposed to be funded out of reserves will have to be officially approved by city council before they can actually be funded and carried out, Portmann added.
For the past several years, the city has also had a pool of money that was acquired when land the city owned was sold to Wawa. These funds have been put into an Economic Development Fund, and a portion of that money has been earmarked. A total of $200,000 has been allotted to fund the Downtown Milford Inc. executive director position over the next five years, while $35,000 has been set aside for new City of Milford highway signs and $875,000 has been earmarked for the purchase of land for the Police Department’s new headquarters, though the purchase of that land has not yet been approved by council. After those expenditures, the Economic Development Fund will be left with $9,000, which has to be used for economic development purposes.
Page 2 of 2 - “What precipitated us getting some of these reserves looked at is that it was brought up at a council meeting that we have a certain amount of reserves and we need to really speak to what they are being reserved for if we really do have planned programs, said Milford City Manager Richard Carmean. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve broken this out. It gives you a good idea of what we’ve really got.”