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Has the city really been running a $2.3 million dollar deficit the past 5 years?


I walked into the Ward 3 meeting this evening and I caught the last of the discussion where a friend of mine bought up the balances shown in 2014 budget projection of the  balances for the Unencumbered Cash in the General, Police and Fire funds. 
 
If you attend the Ward meetings or listen to the City's 2025 plan you will hear that the city has been on average running a $2.3 million deficit the past 6 years.  However, if you look at the 2014 Budget projection it looks like the average deficit from 2008 to 2013 has been $1,363,909.
 
I've reproduced page 19 of the 2014 budget projection as it was presented to the Administration Committee on Nov 19th, 2013.
 
Unencumbered Cash past and projected
 
Looking at this document we can compute the change in Cash balances. I do this in the table below.  The amazing thing to look at is the projected cash balance at the end of last year is actually more than at the end of the year before.  In other words, last year there was actually a budget surplus for General, Police and Fire Operations not a $2.3 million deficit.  Does this mean the city turned the corner and will continue to have budget surpluses?  Actually, no.  However, no open honest and transparent discussion can start if one party is claiming a $2.3 million dollar issue and the source documents show something much different.  So tonight we will look at the historical problem to see how bad it has been.  Later, we will try and learn from this and use what we have available to try and figure out how good (or bad) it can be in the next few years.  
 
Unencumbered Cash
Ending 2008  $10,122,554 Ending 2009 $8,320,032 Ending 2010 $7,796,161
Ending 2009    $8,320,032 Ending 2010 $7,796,161 Ending 2011 $5,257,838
Difference - $1,802,522 Difference   -$523,871 Difference -$2,538,323
 
 
Ending 2011  $5,257,838 Ending 2012  $3,098,216 Ending 2013  $3,303,007
Ending 2012  $3,098,216 Ending 2013  $3,303,007 Ending 2014  $1,128,811
Difference -$2,159,622 Difference      $204,791 Difference -$2,174,196
 
 
From this document we see can look at the change in cash on hand for these funds between the end of 2008 ($10,122,554) until the end of 2013 ($3,303,007)  and compute an average deficit of  $1,363,909  ($6,819,547 divided by 5 years).  If you do the calculations until the end of 2014 using the figures from the budget projection it turns out to be $1,498,957 per year.  This is significantly lower than the $2.3 million city officials tell us we have been short during this same time period. 
 
One more item:  On December 9th, 2013 there was a final adjustment to the 2013 budget.  Note that according to this ordinance the ending balance of the General Fund was adjusted higher by $1.4 million dollars than the number provided on November 19th, 2013.
 

  

 
 
An Ordinance Authorizing Advances And Transfers Between Various Funds Of The City Of Huber Heights, Ohio And Amending Ordinance No. 2012-O-2005 By Making Supplemental Appropriations For Expenses Of The City Of Huber Heights, Ohio For The Period Beginning January 1, 2013 And Ending December 31, 2013 (Various Capital Improvement And Operations Funding), And Declaring An Emergency.
(first reading)
Purpose and Background
These supplemental appropriations are for the following purposes:
- $1,200,000 advance to the Capital Improvement Fund for the Heights Project
- $1,457,913.52 return of Advances to the General Fund from various funds
- $1,211,701.96 advances to the Miami County TIF (DEC) Fund for Carriage Trails debt service from various funds
- $28,000 transfer from Capital Improvement Fund to Firefighters Assistance Grant Fund for city portion of automated dispatch project
- $2,500 for Fire medical supplies (matched by a donation from the Kettering Medical Center)
- ($600,000) decrease in Fire Fund due to no need to return advance previously budgeted
- ($7,400) decrease in CDBG Fund expense - ($28,000) decrease in Capital Improvement Fund expense
- ($600,000) decrease in Fire Capital/Equipment Fund due to no need to advance to Fire Fund
- ($1,740,000) decrease in Local Street Capital Fund due to advances not needed
- ($252,000) decrease in Firefighters Assistance Grant Fund as advance won't be returned until 2014
- $9,688 transfer from Water to General Fund for utility PILOT payment
- $100 increase in Water Bond Service Fund for debt service
- $5,938 transfer from Sewer to General Fund for utility PILOT payment
- ($15.18) decrease in Unclaimed Money Fund expense
- $4,500 increase in Cash Surety Bond Fund (matched by receipts)

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