Funds Dance In and Out of Accounts

City Has About $10 million On Hand

By Josh Resnek

The City Council after limited debate Monday night transferred almost $3 million from one city account into three separate accounts in amounts ranging from slightly more than $1 million, $899,000 and a second $899,000 to meet mandated obligations as well as to provide for coming expenses and expenditures as they may arise, according to the city’s Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas.

Demas, who explained the transfers to the council, refused to answer or was unable to answer a reporter’s yes or no question about the city’s cash position.

“Does this mean the city has about $11 million in cash on hand right now?” the reporter asked.

“I’m here watching what’s going on. I can’t answer,” he said, wishing to cast aside the reporter’s question.

“It’s just a yes or no answer,” the reporter said.

“Yes or no?” the reporter asked. Demas refused to answer.

“Is this your answer?” the reporter asked.

“I’ve got to pay attention,” he repeated.

The transfers, it turns out are the equivalent of taking money out of your big savings account and transferring it into three lesser accounts, one of which is the Retirement Liability Account in order to pay for at the added costs of supplying health insurance to retirees.

Demas did have time to mention to the council that the city owes about $100 million in retirement liabilities.

The transfers were made in these amounts, to three separate accounts respectively: into the General Stabilization Fund $899,295, Post Employment Liability Trust Fund $899,295 and into the Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund $1,199,060 for a total of $2,997,650 (which was taken from the Budgetary Fund.

When he was asked by a councilor how much was left in the Budgetary Fund from which the funds were being transferred, he found a moment to reply: $2.9 million, he said.

He was further asked the totals in the accounts the money was transferred into.

Again, her found a moment to compose himself and to answer: General Stabilization Account $2.5 million; Capital Account $2.2 million; Liability Trust Fund Account $3.5million.

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