Le Mars City Council members, eager to deal with a possible day of reckoning on city spending, reached into the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Fund coffers Tuesday.
The action, City Finance Director Bill Cole said was a solution not only to aid in attaining a balanced budget for the coming year, but equally important as a way to continue to clear up the Community Betterment Program (CBP) "shortfall" without additional fund raising, and to continue to fund economic development.
The city funding with LOST monies, he added is also seen as a prudent move to "clear up" existing city debt and to avoid new debt.
Cole said Tuesday that the LOST funds revenues are increasing "approximately $25,000 to $35,000 each year" and that he expects this pattern to continue. Total revenue since initiation of the local option tax in 2003 was put at $846,556.47. Cole's report indicated that the current fund balance at the end of FY 2007 will be $428,459.48.
Among LOST funds transfers to the city's general budget, as outlined Tuesday by Cole for FY 2007 included:
*$126,100 for the Streetscape program
*$17,500 for Community Betterment of FY 2007 and FY 2008 *$32,500 for interest on debt service for FY 2007
*$65,000 for interest on debt service in FY 2008
*$50,000 for economic development in FY 2007
*$100,000 for economic development in FY 2008
*$22,664 in 2007 for the slide and gym floor at the Aquatic Center with comparable amounts for the next five years
*$251,267 in 2007 for additional CAT pledge cost
*$172,500 in 2008 for additional CAT pledge cost
Additional proposed spending of LOST funds included $135,000 for the CBP "shortfall" in 2008 in addition to the $165,000 projected expenditure in 2007. Funding for cultural programs from LOST funding was put at $29,000 for 2008 with additional funding in succeeding years.