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Sat, Oct. 19

Streets priority in $48 million city budget

Streets are the funding priority in the $48 million fiscal year 2000-01 city budget.

Kingman Finance Director Roger Swenson, at the direction of the city council, has identified revenue sources to complete Stockton Hill Road and continue the Airway Avenue underpass in the next budget.

A total of 16 percent of all the money available to be spent by the council will be added to $4 million of highway user funds earmarked for streets in the next budget.

With $2.6 million in general fund revenues added, the four-laning of Stockton Hill Road from Gordon Drive to Northern Avenue can be included in one construction contract.

The work could extend into the next budget for completion.

The money was placed in the contingency fund to allow maximum flexibility.

If the revenue estimates do not come in as expected, the project could be delayed, Swenson said.

The largest portion - 25 percent or $4.5 million - of the discretionary funds are used for police protection.

Another 17 percent, or $3.88 million, is budgeted for parks and recreation, including the golf course.

The city budget documents show an annual interest payment on the golf course construction bonds of about $315,000 per year.

The bonds mature in 2014.

Fire protection uses 16 percent of the money or $2.7 million.

The largest department budget is Public Works with $12.99 million budgeted for fiscal 2000-01.

All the money, including capital projects for water, wastewater and sanitation, are paid through user fees in the monthly water, sewer and sanitation bills.

An annual payment on the remaining $5 million debt for construction of the treatment facility is made from user fees.

Half the Kingman city water users live outside the city limits and pay higher user fees to include a share of debt payment, new well and water acquisition costs and other capital outlay items.

The budget includes $16 million in discretionary money in the $48 million total budget.

All other money - $32 million - is earmarked for specific uses.

For example, the water, wastewater and sanitation user fees and the Colorado River water money are limited to use for the services for which the money was collected

State Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) money is dedicated to streets, lights and similar uses.

Grant money must be used for the purposes outlined in the grant.

Park construction utilizes grant money.

Fines and fees are dedicated to the budgets where collected.

The Magistrate Court uses the $250,000 collected in fees and fines, building and planning use the permit fees, and the golf course uses the nearly $1 million collected from green fees, cart rentals and other golf course uses, according to the tentative final budget.

The $48 million budgeted expenditures combines revenue from six budget funds, Swenson said.

Of that, $19 million comes from general fund sources.

Local sales taxes are projected to bring in $8 million to the general fund, based on historical growth.

Swenson said these taxes are estimated on the low end, like all revenue.

"We estimate revenue on the low side to be conservative and expenditures on the high side," he said.

In the last budget, Swenson projected local sales tax revenue at $6.75 million and the actual money collected was $7.6 million.

Other general fund money includes: state sales tax, $1.5 million; state revenue sharing, $1.997 million; room taxes, $190,000; charges for services, $1.2 million; fees, $452,000; and money in lieu of property taxes, $675,000.

Special revenue sources include $2 million each from state highway fuel taxes (HURF) and various grants.

Total revenue for the city shows $63 million available to cover the $48 million expenditures budget.

"We carry a 'prudent person' excess of three months expenditures from most enterprise accounts," Swenson said.

"Some money is carried from year to year for projects that extend into more than one budget year.

Revenue and expenditures for grant applications that have not been approved are included so we can spend the money if we get it."

The downtown action zone application for $1 million is an example.

The money may never be approved, but must be budgeted.

From a debt standpoint, the city is in good financial condition, Swenson said.

Total debt is $14 million as of June 30.

The major projects paid for by that money, with estimated and rounded balances are: Airway Avenue road construction $3 million; wastewater facility $5 million; golf course construction $3 million and various improvement districts $2.4 million.

The tentative final budget is scheduled for approval at Monday's council meeting with final approval in August.

The process began with staff meetings in December.

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