Grantsville’s budget numbers were adjusted slightly Wednesday as city officials took stock on how money is being spent halfway through the 2013-2014 budget year.
“Most of this is just housekeeping,” said Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall.
Adjustments include $142,000 to Walmart to pay back interest on a five-year loan for the RDA-funded sewer line from the Walmart Distribution Center to the sewer plant and an extension to a water line.
“We originally thought that we had paid Walmart off on that tax increment financing, but there were two years at the front of the loan that no interest had been paid,” said Marshall. “We had made the payment according to the contract. This was strictly interest that had not been paid. Walmart was unaware of it. We were unaware of it.”
Marshall said the $142,000 was a settlement from the original amount, which was more than $150,000 besides interest. The settlement was reached because the city had previously shown intent to pay off the loan.
Several of the adjusted budget categories were for projects or expenses that had been estimated too low, such as utilities and expenses for the Grantsville City Library. Marshall said the estimate on those costs were truly an estimate, since the library had only been open for less than three months at the time the budget was drafted.
“What we had done was put the expenses of City Hall and the fire station and tried to do an average. We ended up being low,” he said. “We guessed $5,000 for power and $4,000 for natural gas. It will exceed that. It has already exceeded that.”
More money was also transferred from one fund to another for the long-awaited sewer project, which has come in a little more than $100,000 over what was set aside in the impact fee budget.
Funds amounting to $311,000 were transferred from the water fund, both to make up the difference with the sewer project, and to fund a proposal from the mayor to purchase shares of water at the next Grantsville City Council meeting.
Should the proposal not be granted, the funds could be re-transferred back into the water fund at the close of the year, Marshall said. Other funds transferred but not used could likewise be transferred back at the fiscal year’s end, he added.
Marshall said the adjustments were made halfway through the budget year verses at the end in effort to maintain a good audit report, yet small adjustments will inevitably have to be made when the budget year ends on June 30.
“Usually they hold off until the end of the year; auditors have told us we’re better off if we do it in the middle of the year,” the mayor said. “Then you still have your budget adjustments you have to do at the end of the year, but you’ve taken care of the majority of them before.”