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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Reserve funds to balance budget
Thursday, September 13, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville officials look for the city’s reserve funds to drop between $600,000 and $900,000 for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Expenses for fiscal 2012 are expected to be more than revenues received during the year, so reserve funds are to be used to balance the budget.
Because financial transactions for that year continue to occur, final figures probably will not be available until mid-October, city Finance Director Linda Conover told Martinsville City Council on Tuesday.
Some fiscal 2012 funds must be reappropriated to the current fiscal year’s budget for ongoing projects, Conover said.
Such projects include Martinsville High School renovations, energy efficiency upgrades to city facilities, uptown redevelopment efforts and the city’s share of costs to install water/sewer lines to the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre being developed with Henry County, a report shows.
At a future meeting, a full list of reappropriations will be presented to the council to be considered for approval, Conover said.
Total reserve funds as of June 30 now are estimated at $13,634,471. That would be a drop of $624,713 from fiscal 2011, the report indicates.
Yet the “unassigned fund balance” for fiscal 2012, which is not restricted and could be used to pay any unexpected future expenses, is estimated at $3,370,549, according to the report.
That is up from about $2.4 million in fiscal 2011, Conover said.
Based on preliminary figures, it seems fiscal 2012 will end up a little better than expected, said Councilman Gene Teague. He recalled original projections that reserve funds would drop by about $900,000.
Conover agreed with his reasoning. She said, though, that after final figures are in, she thinks about $900,000 in reserve funds will be needed to balance the budget.
The city will undergo its annual audit by a certified public accounting firm in late October. The report developed from that audit will supply final, concrete financial figures for fiscal 2012, Conover said.
Also during Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Kim Adkins presented three proclamations.
One recognizes the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s signing. It was accepted by Helms Monday, a third-grader at Carlisle School who was dressed in Colonial-era clothing. He is City Attorney Eric Monday’s son.
The Col. George Waller Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution requested the proclamation.
Another proclamation recognizes Sept. 10-16 as National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week. It was accepted by Cynthia Ingram of the city schools’ adult education program, who mentioned that studies show nearly 1,600 Martinsville residents lack high school diplomas or GED certificates.
Figures from the 2010 Census show Martinsville has a population of about 14,000. The figure that Ingram mentioned basically shows that about 11.5 percent of city residents have not completed high school.
The other proclamation recognizes Sept. 29 as a “Day of Service” across Virginia. Gov. Bob McDonnell created that observance to publicize and help fight hunger.
Interim City Manager Leon Towarnicki said city residents are encouraged to donate food or money to local food pantries. Food items can be dropped off at the municipal building uptown, and city employees will take them to food pantries, he said.
The council also:
• Heard from city resident Douglas Sharpe, who showed a bag of litter — mostly cigarette butts — he collected near his home on Clearview Drive.
“Litter is litter, no matter how big it is,” Sharpe said, referring to the small size of cigarette butts. He said motorists usually cannot see discarded butts along the road but people walking often can.
Monday, the city attorney, agreed. He indicated that city officials are willing to prosecute people who throw cigarette butts onto the ground as litterers.
“The problem is catching someone in the act” or finding witnesses who are willing to testify in court, Monday said.
• Heard from city resident Ural Harris, who urged the city not to try and start a cable television system as part of interest in expanding fiber-optic telecommunications locally.
Officials have said the city is not interested in trying to provide cable TV again, having lost a court battle in a previous attempt to do that.
• Appointed Ellen Wood to the Martinsville Planning Commission following a closed session called to discuss potential appointments to local panels.
Seated as the Martinsville Redevelopment & Housing Authority, the council adopted a routine resolution pertaining to public housing matters.
The city runs a public housing agency serving both Martinsville and Henry County. Each year, the authority must adopt a resolution, and the agency must submit information to the federal government showing the agency follows U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines.
Special closed-door council meetings are set for 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Adkins said council members will be interviewing city manager candidates and no action will be taken afterward.
The council plans to announce the selection of a new city manager by the end of this month.