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Holts Summit furthers budget discussions

Holts Summit furthers budget discussions

November 28th, 2018 by Seth Wolfmeyer in Local News

The Holts Summit Municipal Center is located on South Summit Drive in Holts Summit.

Photo by Seth Wolfmeyer /Fulton Sun.

The Holts Summit Board of Aldermen continued discussion on its 2019 budget during a work session Tuesday, planning to hold a second reading and final passage before the end of the year.

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"Overall, the city is in fine financial health, including in the typical governmental functions," City Administrator Matt Harline said.

The working budget Harline showed to the aldermen included $5,177,658 in planned expenditures and $4,939,076 in planned revenue — working out to a $238,612 deficit. The city's beginning balance at the start of the year is estimated to be $2,789,775.

"This is with conservative estimates on revenues and liberal estimates for expenditures. So it's entirely possible we could come in at budget without making any changes or doing anything in the future," Harline said.

The numbers presented to the aldermen Tuesday are not final, he added, as additional work has been done since the meeting materials were prepared. Last year, the city had also included around a $200,000 deficit in its budget.

"We do need to look at additional ways to either enhance revenues in the general fund or cut costs. I'm not saying we need to raise taxes or anything like that; we need to address this during the next year," Harline added.

Harline said previously that work to resolve "numerous" accounting errors made over the past few years under previous city workers has delayed Holts Summit's work on a 2019 budget.

Those errors included expenditures being charged to the incorrect accounts, resulting in different city budgets being short or having an excess of funds. Staffers are in the process of going "line by line, expenditure by expenditure" to resolve the issues and get a more accurate picture of Holts Summit's current finances, Harline said.

Holts Summit is planning to hire a firm to audit the city's finances from the past two years. It's possible funds are missing, he added, but the city has found no evidence as such. Any large amount likely would have already been detected, he added.

On Tuesday, the aldermen also voted to appoint two new members, Harline and alderwomen Sharon Schlueter, to the Board of Directors of the Building Corporation of Holts Summit.

The group played a major role in remodeling city hall, Harline told the aldermen, and a biannual report needs to be filed this month for it to continue being recognized by the state. Two of the corporation's three officers had resigned, so the new members were needed to conduct business, he added.

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The city on Tuesday also passed an ordinance setting the next municipal election for April 2 of next year; selected a bid on a fireworks display for Holts Summit's next Independence Day celebration; held a first reading on an ordinance to adopt a new code of ordinance after working with Municode to update and digitize the city's code; and held another first reading on an ordinance authorizing an agreement with a company to archive the city's social media content.