Dillon facing budget shortcomings in 2014
September 8, 2012
The state of Dillon’s general fund is proving itself to be unsustainable heading into 2014, a problem that means town officials need to start planning for cuts in spending, an increase in revenues, or both.
The town is currently working on its 2013 budget, in which spending savings from 2012 are planned to help balance a $220,000 shortfall in the general fund.
“Revenues do not cover expenditures for 2013,” town finance director Carri McDonnell said.
The 2012 general fund was balanced using $200,000 transferred from the capital fund.
“This is not a sustainable practice,” McDonnell told council earlier this week. “Either revenues have to come up, or expenditures have to go down, or we need a combination of the two.”
The general fund pays for the town’s operational needs, including 70 percent of staff salaries and benefits.
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“It seems like we need to have a plan now,” said Councilman Tim Westerberg. If the town needs to act on these things in two years, it needs to let people know now what’s going on, and what services could be altered, he said.
McDonnell doesn’t see the fund’s revenue/expenditure problem turning around quickly, and predicted that the town will still have the problem in 2014.
“Transferring form the capital fund each year is not an option,” she said. “In 2013, there may not be that cash to do that again.”
The budget discussion for 2014 will probably occur much earlier than usual next year, most likely next summer, “because we know it’s going to be another tough budget year,” McDonnell said.
The town is still maintaining its emergency funds, which amounts to three months of operating expenses.