Alexander City is operating with a $645,780 budget surplus through the first eight months of the fiscal year, even factoring in substantial spending on capital projects, giving officials confidence the city will finish 2019 with a balanced budget.
City finance director Sandy Stanbrough said revenue is $1.4 million more than budgeted while operating and capital expenses are $2.7 million under budget for the first eight months of the 2019 fiscal year.
“What’s really good is that our capital outlay is $5.3 million already and we still have a positive bottom line of $645,000,” Mayor Tommy Spraggins said. “We know the next four months are going to be tight so we will be conservative on our capital spending. We want a balanced budget at the end of the year.”
The city is also in a period that is traditionally the best for sales tax collections. Spraggins said the city collected $937,217 in June’s report, which is 5.6% over the collections of June 2018 and for the year is 2.9% higher than the first eight months of 2018. May’s report showed the city collected $940,936.49, the third-highest total on record surpassed only by July 2017 ($969,874.91) and April 2017 ($968,313.66), when workers were in town constructing the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline.
“I am confident we will end the year on the plus side,” Spraggins said.
Stanbrough presented the first regular monthly financial report to the city council at its July 1 meeting.
“I think it is being accepted with a positive attitude realizing it is very much a snapshot but an attempt to represent the facts of the financial situation at a high level,” she said.
Stanbrough constructs budgets that are conservative on revenue, resulting in spending in line with available funds.
In the first eight months of the fiscal year, through May, the city had $38,149,849 in revenue and $32,179,180 in operational expenses. Subtracting $5,324,888 in capital expenses leaves a surplus of $645,781 (rounded up).
“We’re going to watch that ($645,000) closely and try and finish the year strong,” Stanbrough said.
Examples of capital spending from the general fund in May included $22,856 for an IT van, $79,823 for two new Tahoes for the police department, $123,639 for a public works lowboy and $13,539 for repairs to Airport Road. Capital spending from the enterprise fund in May included $332,336 for an improvement project at the Adams Water Treatment Plant.
General fund expenses include administrative, public safety, public works, parks and recreation, the airport, library, municipal court and nutrition. Enterprise fund expenses are electric, gas, water, sewer and the golf course.
“The city is in a good financial position now,” said council president Tim Funderburk, who also serves as chairman of the council’s finance committee.