During the Ravenswood City Council meeting on Jan. 8, Mayor Josh Miller handed out a potential amendment to the Council regarding a mid-year budget revision due to the projected increase in revenue of $262,00 for fiscal year 2020.
“It has to be plugged into the budget in some capacity because we are required to have a balanced budget,” Miller said.
Miller advised the Council he would work on the proposal and make a presentation at the Jan. 23 meeting.
During the Jan. 23 meeting of the Ravenswood City Council, Miller stated that he had sat down with the City’s Certified Public Accountant and went over the potential projections for the second quarter of the fiscal year. He said she came up with a projection of $272,000 in revenue. A print out was given to the Council to be reviewed as Miller went through notating where the projections came from. The information was also made available to the public who attended. Miller noted the information is all public record.
According to the projections, the Gas and Oil Severance Tax would bring in an additional $10,000 more than originally expected and the B & O Tax would generate almost a $100,000 more than originally predicted.
“This was actually a conservative projection,” Miller said. “We projected $535,000 in B & O revenue, it’s probably going to be more around $650,000, but I went conservative with the estimate.”
Another area of increased revenue projection is the Wine and Liquor Tax, which almost doubled, originally estimated at $25,000; however, the new projection is at $40,000.
Miller said a lot of people thought the increases last year were contributed to the pipeline, but due to the continued increases, he feels that is not the case.
One item that Miller said he is very proud of is the interest earned on investments.
“When we first got in here (in office), the interest earned on our investments was around $300,” Miller said. “Now, with some of the changes in how we invest our funds, that went from $300 to a projection of up to $5,000.”
Miller said he feels this is why it is so important to invest the funds wisely.
Unassigned Balance (Capital Projects Funds) is another line item that is now required by the auditor, Miller said. At the beginning of the year the line item was projected at $500,000 and with the new projections and surplus from last year, that is now projected at $625,000.
“If you look at all of these projections, we are actually up about $400,000,” Miller said. “Things are looking good and this is post-pipeline business.”
Miller then presented the Council with the fiscal outlook spreadsheet, noting that building inspection is something the city will focus on more in 2020 due to code enforcement and Home Rule, which will go into effect on July 1.
Miller said they have put a lot of effort into upgrading buildings and he hopes that within the next five years to get all the streets paved in the city.
He recognized Bob Huffman and the maintenance crews for their continued upkeep of the streets and sidewalks.
Other line items with budget increases include the Police, Fire, and Garbage Departments.
Copies of all hand outs are available at City Hall and are considered public record.
In other business:
• Council approved payment of the Legal Services Invoice for the City of Ravenswood’s Water Project. Miller said the financial part was almost done with three options for possible loan providers. Two are from local banks while the third is from the West Virginia Infrastructure and Job Development Council. The WVIJDC rate is for a 20 year term at three precent. Miller stated he feels the local banks would be able to provide a better option and is waiting to hear their terms. He hopes to have a final decision by the next meeting on Feb. 4.
• Council approved the hiring of Ravenswood Maintenance Department employee Robert Evans.
• An opening was declared and approved by the Council in the Ravenswood Maintenance Department.
• Two vehicles were approved by the Council to be added to the Ravenswood Maintenance Department through the Enterprise Fleet Lease Program.
• Two vehicles from the Ravenswood Maintenance Department, a 1984 dump truck and a 1997 GMC 1-ton pick up truck, and two vehicles from the Ravenswood Police Department, a Crown Victoria and a 2007 Charger, were declared surplus property by the Council.
• Fire Chief Kevin McClain addressed the Council regarding assistance with paying off a firetruck early. Council approved to provide the Fire Department with $50,000 toward the early pay-off of the truck. With the city’s help, McClain said the truck will pay off four years early and save the department thousands of dollars in interest that they can put towards upgrading their gear.
The next regular Ravenswood City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 1 Wall Street, third floor.