The Auburn City Council met Monday night, July 20, to discuss the Mid-Biennium Budget adjustment and the revenue review, which is done every four years, according to David Dorton, public affairs director for the city of Auburn.
Dorton said the city has a two-year budget and meets at the midpoint to review revenue from the past year in order to make budget changes for the following year.
He also said last night's meeting will lead to a budget adjustment at the Aug. 4 council meeting.
According to City Manager Charles Duggan, the assessment showed the city ended the year with more money than planned, but were drawing down less money.
The city planned to end the year with $18 million, but are actually ending with $24 million, according to Duggan.
Duggan said the additional money came from projects that weren't finished in 2014, which have been rolled to be completed in 2015.
"But you can't necessarily call that a surplus," Duggan said. "We took in $73 million in revenue, and were spending $83 million, so it's a little over $9 million that we're drawing down. It's hard to put that in context."
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He said it depends on how someone looks at the budget.
"It's complicated information," Duggan said. "To me, surplus is that you have higher revenues than you have expenditures, however, we have higher revenues than we had budgeted and we're doing more projects, so therefore our expenditures grew. To say we have surplus, I mean our revenues are coming in higher than they did the year before, so that's great, but we also are not just holding on to people's money. We're turning that money into services and projects."
He said an ordinance will appear on the council agenda at the Aug. 4 meeting regarding budget changes for this year.
Duggan said the city has ongoing projects, such as the Moore's Mill overpass project, which was bid in August, but the bids were too high, so it will be re-bid in December.
The money allotted for that project will be carried over to next year, according to Duggan.
"We plan to continue to improve our road infrastructure to make it easier for people to get around town, and we'll continue to improve our facilities for ADA purposes, so folks with disabilities can access our parks and our government buildings," Duggan said. "We have basically continuing all of the great services and parks and recreation, make sure that we have excellent staffing in police and fire."
The review also concluded ticket scalping enforcement has improved from an ordinance put in place in 2014.
It stated benefits of permitting ticket scalpers were: "A significant decrease in automobile burglaries in the downtown area, reduction or elimination of counterfeit currency in the area for scalping purposes and serious reduction in the number of citizen complaints for ticket scalpers."
The permits are valid from July 1-June 30.
Duggan said it is less likely the ticket will be counterfeit if the buyer can see the legal photo identification license on the scalper.
"This is a way to make people safer and more comfortable if they are going to try to scalp a ticket," Duggan said. "I heard good reports back about it from public safety last year."
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