Friday, March 4, 2011

This practice is called . . ..

I knew the city had a problem in assessing and budgeting for capital projects as nary a one has come in on budget. But it would appear from the article in the SP (Mar. 4/11) that the problem of budget development is deeper.

Each month I pay $15.55, that being $186.55 annually, for infrastructure charges on my city light and water bill. In essence that is additional taxation to my property tax bill. It is targeted money for infrastructure upgrades and repair, which many areas in the city need and have not received. It is a capital reserve fund.

Each year the city adds budget surplus monies to the stabilization fund to cover off unexpected costs in the operating budget.

It is a sign of serious trouble when council starts using capital reserves to off set operating deficits.

I understand why the water department has a deficit due to the weather of last summer. What I don't understand is how, when preparing the budget projections, a reserve was not in place for off years. We have all been encouraged to practice water conservation. That in itself, coupled by increasing water usage charges, should indicate that revenues may decline.

What is offensive were the comments made by city finance manager Tarasoff. "These (projects) are going to be rethought. This is money that's been allocated and they're returning it to the bank account and we're saying, 'You can ask for it again in the future.' "

Does this mean that next month I will not have a infrastructure charge of $15.55 on my light and water bill? Or was he saying that this is a well that will never run dry?

. . . robbing Peter to pay Paul.

1 comment:

  1. What I was expecting based on Tarasoff's comments was that the money was in the process of being "returned to the bank". When I think returned, I think returned to the source aka the people who paid it. Not only do I expect no infrastructure charge on my next statement I would hope to see my $15.55 credit.


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