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Lanesboro reviews expenses and revenues

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Government

Jason Boynton from Smith Schafer and Associates presented the Lanesboro City Council with their audit report for 2008. Boynton went over the highlights with the council, starting with the city's revenues.

Boynton pointed out that the levy collections make up 29 percent of the city's income. In 2008 the city collected $382,000. Lanesboro's LGA (Local Government Aid) decreased three percent from 2007 to 2008.

As far as expenses, Lanesboro spent $223,654 on general government, which includes $25,000 for capital outlay. For Public Safety, the city spent $255,000, with $33,000 spent on capital outlay projects. Public works spent $373,075, with $231,000 of that being capital outlay. The projects included street paving, flood damage and other repairs. For Culture and Recreation the city spent $261,477, which is down $30,000 from the previous year. The revenue from Buffalo Bill Days was about $37,000.

For reserves, Lanesboro has a General Fund balance of $355,654. Boynton explained that 65 percent of that is unreserved, which is a good number. There is still a deficit in the fire fund, but it is smaller at a negative $7,100. Park and Rec. also has a smaller deficit at $26,849, due to a transfer from the general fund the previous year. There are also reserved funds in the library, interpretive center, ambulance, Buffalo Bill Days and EDA funds.

As far as debts and General Obligation Bonds, Boynton said the city's debts are being paid off in a timely manner. He also said the utility fund is keeping pace with the rising costs.

Mayor Steve Rahn asked about taking care of the small deficits they still have in the fire fund and park and rec. fund. Boynton suggested they keep an eye on the funds to be sure the deficits don't get too large.

Bond Refinancing

Mike Bubany of David Drown and Associates presented the council with an option for refinancing a bond for outstanding debt that has been called. He and City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman put together a deal with F&M Bank in Preston for refinancing. The council approved the refinancing with a total savings of $11,333 over the seven years. The bond is for a total of $312,500.

Bubany explained that the bond has a prepay penalty of one-half percent. The only pre-payment dates are July 1 and January 1, and there must be a 30 day notice if refinancing. He had checked with Associated Bank in Lanesboro and they were not able to get something together quickly enough.

Other Business

Council member Ceil Allen, speaking for the library board, said they have received numerous positive comments from tourists, especially about the computers, new books and movies, and the friendly atmosphere.

Vickerman said the Public Utilities is looking at an increase in wholesale rates and will be holding a public hearing.

The council approved the planting of trees in the park, pond, and Coffee Street trail areas, pending the approval of the Park Board. Vickerman explained there was some money left over from the TMI project and the Girl Scouts will be planting the trees.

Vickerman has received a couple of calls from people in the Maple Drive area that do not want a siren placed in the area. Andy Drake had mentioned at the last meeting that people in the area cannot hear the sirens during a weather emergency. Mayor Rahn said there are other residents that want the siren and that it's a safety issue. He also said that other locations should be looked at before the city makes any decisions. There was some discussion on whether or not the siren would go off at noon like the other two in town and if it could be programmed to not do that.

Vickerman also updated the council that, as of the meeting, no final decision had been made at the legislature regarding the state budget. They are proposing cuts in LGA from 11-14 percent.

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