Update: Lexington’s Budget Surplus Off Nearly $5 Million

Lexington’s Urban County Council was told Tuesday that the city has nearly $5 million less in budget surplus money to spend than originally thought, according to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The newspaper reported that Finance Commissioner Bill O’Mara told the council that new government accounting standards led to confusion on how the city should account for ongoing expenses.

Accountants that audit the city’s finances were asked how to account for those ongoing expenses that occur over multiple fiscal years.

The newspaper reported O’Mara was initially told that the city didn’t have to set aside money for that $3.1 million in ongoing expenses.

O’Mara said he was told on Monday that the city needed to set aside money for those ongoing expenses as the city closes its books.

The Herald-Leader also reported that O’Mara said the city received a confidential report from pension actuaries that showed the city needed to put aside an additional $825,000 for its annual pension contribution.

The newspaper reported that the Urban County Council voted to divert $4.6 million that was supposed to go to surplus money for ongoing expenses and for the additional contributions to the pension fund.

The council has been working since late August on the belief it had $12.4 million in surplus money to spend.

The council had already approved spending:

  • $3.2 million for new fire trucks and police cars

  • $2.5 million into the city’s rainy day fund

  • $600,000 for ongoing work on the Legacy Trail

  • $400,000 for new kitchen floor at the jail

  • $400,000 for roofing projects

  • $350,000 for facility HVAC projects

  • $325,000 for pothole repair

  • $250,000 for pre-development work at the old county courthouse

  • $125,000 to repave part of a road in Jacobson Park

  • $45,000 to renovate bus shelter in Gardenside Shopping Center

  • $45,000 for an aquatic climbing wall at Woodland Park

  • $40,000 for new air tanks for the fire department

  • $26,000 for traffic signals at the Reynolds Road roundabout

On Tuesday, the council approved additional spending:

  • $1 million into economic incentive fund to attract and keep jobs

  • $250,000 for design study for Man O’ War Boulevard

  • $250,000 for restrooms at Masterson Station Park

  • $150,000 to replace windows at the Dunbar Community Center

  • $80,510 for bike lane striping and signage

All of the above mentioned spending votes are only preliminary.

The final list of projects must have two readings and a final vote by the full council.

Categories: Local News, News

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