$208 million budget approved; Capital improvements, also

by Josh Resnek

Without fanfare or debate, the city council officially approved the 2020 city budget Monday night.

Also approved, is a $16.4 million General Fund Request, money which will be used to fund a variety of capital improvements throughout the city.

The $16.4 million will be borrowed at the same time other city debt is being retired.

The borrowing does not impact directly on the windfall of money about to hit the city treasury. The loans will be paid back like any other – from month to month with interest until they are gone. The first quarterly payment of about $6 million from Wynn Resorts will shortly be deposited neatly into the city treasury.

The borrowings for sidewalk repairs, design services, and for park construction and Everett Square improvements, among others, will set the city back $16.4 million any way one chooses to look at it.

While nothing extra is coming out of taxpayer’s pockets, the city’s balance sheet changes dramatically with another borrowing of $16.4 million.

The Wynn Resorts windfall could be used to lower taxes or it can be spent as fast as it comes in.

If the past is a vision into what the future is about, the city and its mayor will manage to spend nearly everything that comes in.

A look at spending $16.4 million tells you how. (please refer to spending chart printed with this story).

That being said, the city is busy putting its financial resources to use at all times under the present administration.

Design for refurbishing tot lots will cost $700,000. Street and sidewalk repairs will cost $3 million. Park construction at Baldwin Avenue and Edith Street total $2.6 million. Swan Street Park construction and Seven Acre Park design and construction total $2.5 million.

Everett Square improvements total $1 million.

Northern Strand Bike Path Extension is $1.5 million.

Drainage work on Beacham , Elton and Tremont Streets total $950,000.

The city’s stellar bond rating makes borrowing cheaper – but never the less – the city will owe an additional $16.4 million now that the city council has approved all of the funding.

The funding includes $50,000 for two new BMW police motorcycles.

According to the city’s CFO Eric Demas, he is going with the BMW’s instead of the traditional Harley Davdsons because “the BMW’s are cheaper to maintain.”

“I know, because I used to have a Harley Davidson,” Demas told the councilors.

The city’s two Harley Davidson police motorcycles were recently sold as surplus property.

They fetched about $14,000 according to Demas.

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