He offered council a mid-year budget status report Wednesday that could be summed up as "most of the funds are going pretty well."
"Some lines," he said, "are cause for concern but overall, the borough's books are on a positive cash basis and we're projecting a $50,000 surplus at the end of the year, barring anything unexpected."
Given that as recently as 2009, the borough has ended the year with deficits this is good news and the result of hard work by Finance Director Janice Lee and her staff, Bobst said.
|The main building of |
|...is connected by a pedestrian |
underpass to the
North Hall campus.
"The grant fund is a little misleading because we have to spend the money to get the reimbursement, but historically, that fund has been down by $300,000," said Bobst.
The reason for that is cost overruns on the project to build a tunnel under the freight rail line parallel to High Street which connects the two campuses of Montgomery County Community College.
|The underpass |
|...the underpass after|
The $31,000 deficit in the airport fund will disappear when the final loan payments on the new hangars are paid off, and then the rental payments for those hangars will begin to develop a positive cash flow for that fund, Bobst said.
As for the PCTV fund, which is $561,000 in the red, Bobst said the new contract the borough hopes to sign shortly with the new company managing PCTV, TellusTV, will erase much of that debt and the borough will no longer to liable for the payments on the new equipment the system purchased several years ago to keep up with changing technology.
Bobst told council Wednesday night that the new contract treats PCTV as a simple income line in the budget and is structured in a fashion similar to what the borough tried to set up with the previous operator, Maplewood Video.
On the plus side, the parking lot fund has enough cash to begin to upgrade some of the parking lots and "get rid of the antiquated metering system and put new meters in," said Bobst.
The mild winter was also easy on the liquid fuels fund, said Bobst.
|The borough's salt pile is not this big, but you get the idea.|
Excess cash in the parks and recreation, library, fire and street lights funds will also allow the borough to "retire some deficits we had in those funds as well," said Bobst.
And additional funds in the trash fund will allow the borough to set some cash aside for capital projects, primarily paying to replace the blue recycling bins as they reach the end of their useful life.
"This really shows how the EIP report continues to bear fruit and how much we've improved our cash position since 2009," Bobst said.
|Careful accounting has put the|
borough accounts in better shape.
Financial experts recommend a municipality keep 15 percent of its operating budget in reserve.
Lee told council that the borough authority is right at 15 percent and the borough is getting there, with currently eight to nine percent in reserve.
This improvement in the borough's finances was the reason Pottstown obtained a favorable interest rate on the money it recently borrowed for a number of capital projects, including a new borough garage, to replace the ramshackle exhibit on Beech Street.
"We got an informal credit rating of A," Bobst said. "We never could have obtained that before and it saved us money with such a favorable interest rate."