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City will tap into reserve funds

New Carlisle expects to end 2013 with about $7,500 in carryover money.

City council is considering a nearly $5 million overall budget for this year, but the city expects a drastic drop in its general fund carry-over balance by year’s end.

The city had nearly $55,000 in carry-over funds as of Jan. 1, but the estimated ending balance for Dec. 31 is expected to be slightly more than $7,500, according to the proposed budget.

“We’re just trying to make it through the year,” City Finance Director Richard Sexton said Tuesday, but added that figures could change at any time when or if the city sells some assets, such as properties in the failed Twin Creeks development.

Remaining properties there are expected to be deeded over to the city, pending agreements with the county, then sold for the city by a real estate service this year effectively increasing revenues.

Requested appropriations include nearly $1.5 million to the general fund, more than $1.4 million to its special revenues funds, nearly $197,000 to its debt service funds, more than $106,000 to its capital project funds and nearly $1.8 million to its enterprise funds.

Revenues to its street construction fund will increase this year after voters passed a 2-mill levy in March 2012, but exactly how much additional money is brought in remains to be seen, Sexton said.

Officials previously estimated $140,000 in levy money will supplement the approximately $225,000 New Carlisle raises from taxes on gas sales and car registration fees each year.

City officials and council haven’t yet discussed specifically how the city will spend the additional street revenues, Sexton said, but officials have said some could directly go to fixing streets and some could be used as local match for state grants.

A third phase upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant is needed, Sexton said, but that would likely have to wait because the city doesn’t have the funds for a required 20 percent match. The city completed the more than $1 million grant- and loan-funded phase two portion last year.

Council is expected to vote on the budget at its regular meeting March 18.

In other business, council unanimously agreed to allow City Manager Kim Jones to sign an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for funding to fix its tennis court surfaces, nets and hardware at Smith Park.

Funds totaling more than $23,240 will come from ODNR’s Recreational Trails Program, and the city will match it locally with nearly $7,750 in labor hours and local dollars.

If there’s any money left from the project, estimated to cost nearly $31,000, the city will use it to improve parking areas at Smith park, City Service Director Howard Kitko has said.

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