Contingency fund considered for Shamokin finances
SHAMOKIN - The city will use, if needed, $25,000 from its contingency fund on day-to-day expenses ahead of the receipt of tax revenue next month.
Real estate, per capita and occupational taxes are mailed to city taxpayers March 1, which falls on a Friday, perhaps stalling some early bird payments until at least the next business day.
City Clerk Steve Bartos estimated the city would take in about $100,000 in tax revenue in the first week of payments.
A tax and revenue anticipation note (TRAN) totaling $275,000 was taken to start the new year, up $75,000 from 2012. The practice of taking a TRAN is common among some municipalities, including Shamokin, allowing them to pay bills in the first quarter until taxes are paid.
This year's TRAN funding is running low. Councilman William Strausser said the city incurred no extraordinary expenses. Simply put, bills have been paid and, he said, they are more expensive.
"If your electric bill goes up, so does ours. All our bills go up just like everyone else's," he said after Monday's council meeting, pointing out that health insurance alone costs the city about $46,000 each month.
Councilman William Milbrand said during the meeting that new lighting units were installed in the council chambers. New units were also installed in other parts of City Hall and other city buildings. He said that should help the city incur long-term energy savings.
There are three pay periods remaining until taxes are mailed to city taxpayers, although Bartos said this week's payroll is completed and accounted for.
City officials have said in the past that payroll averages roughly $24,000.
The general fund, from which most expenses are made, totaled $46,132.36 on Feb. 1. That figure fluctuates daily, either up or down, and may not be reflective of the account balance as it currently stands.
The contingency fund stood at $20,694.15 as of Feb. 1; however, $18,804.34 is earmarked for recycling and $848.92 for vandalism repairs. If it comes to pass, that money would instead be used in the general fund and replaced when tax money arrives next month.
Strausser said the city will be OK if it can make it through the next three weeks until tax funding is received.
In other business, city council:
- Hired Andrew Sikora as a temporary employee for the tax office beginning March 8 to cover for Kelly Haines, deputy treasurer, who will take family medical leave from May until August;
- Terminated its contract with UniFirst and will seek out a new uniform company;
- Approved police clerk Jill Bright as a full-time employee;
- Finalized the 2013 salary of Code Enforcement Officer Rick Bozza at $30,337.01, a raise over his 2012 salary of $28,840.24;
- Voted to advertise for the purchase of a new pump for the city pool;
- Tabled a rental property inspection ordinance for further discussion, and also tabled discussion of terminating non-essential employees from the city cell phone plan ahead of a visit by a Verizon Wireless representative planned for the March 6 workshop.