Florence begins second year of biennial budget

City Manager reviews June’s Quarterly Financial Report

Oct. 10, 2018 — Florence City Council met for its first October meeting Monday night. The brief meeting covered several topics, mainly the Quarterly Financial Report for the period ending June 30, the end of the fiscal year. The preliminary report is now available and will go on to the city’s audit.

“We’re halfway through your first ever biennial budget,” City Manager Erin Reynolds said. “You will most likely not see anything where we (are) over budget. We are on track and managing our projects within our budget, for both this first part of the biennium and as we are entering into the second year.”

The report includes the last quarter of the 2017-18 year, comparing fund balances to budgeted amounts and detailing the “City-wide — All Funds” report, with additional information on each separate fund.

“You can see that we ended the total fund balance at $10.2 million,” Reynolds said. “That’s a little bit better than our expectations and forecast for the year end. … Based on June 30 being our year end, most of our projects are just getting under way and just starting, or haven’t even began yet. You’ll see a lot of that spent down over the next year.”

She showed the Wastewater Fund on page 12 of the report and related it to Public Works Director Mike Miller’s presentation on three upcoming utility projects. Money from that fund, as well as wastewater system development charges, will fund those projects.

“One of the capital projects that was anticipated for the year is this sewer extension project. You can also see that we have not spent as much as we thought we would,” Reynolds said. “We thought we would have this project a little further along this year than it is actually playing out.”

The council first heard about the Highways 101 and 126 Utility Projects in August, as city staff were already working on plans to extend water and wastewater facilities on the highways. Those projects are now coming together, with a public hearing scheduled for the formation of a reimbursement district on Highway 101.

“You can see that in the capital outlay, there is a budget for $1.199 million, and we’ve only spent about $380,000 in wastewater. By the time you get to the next year end, on June 30, 2019, you’ll see that project spent out based on the timeline presented to you,” Reynolds said.

City Councilor Ron Preisler thanked Reynolds and city staff for their work on the project report.

Mayor Joe Henry said, “We’re under budget, so that’s always a good thing.”

After the planned public hearing on the reimbursement district, the bidding and construction timeline will be solidified on the three separate utilities projects, with construction scheduled to take place early in 2019.

“The (wastewater expansion) project that Mike spoke about will include five annexations of properties that are looking to grow and add to our city, for both commerce and residence,” Reynolds added. “They see the potential, and there is a lot of excitement out there, on both sides of the highway. … Our city is growing, and it is growing at a pace that makes sense for Florence.”

In addition to these annexations, two other requests to join the city have come in, making it seven new properties annexing into the city. All the properties are going through the Planning Commission process.

The City of Florence will begin the audit on the preliminary report this month, with the Florence City Council expected to approve the report in December.

For more information, visit ci.florence.or.us.

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