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Ste. Genevieve Aldermen Ponder Use Of Reserve Funds For Capital Improvements

During the second half of last Thursday’s work session, the city of Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen considered possible capital improvements and suitable levels for reserve funding.

“The purpose of this work session is to discuss whether we want to take some of the money that is available to us for capital improvements and spend it, and where you might want to spend it,” city administrator Martin Toma explained when the session resumed.

“We expect, if we follow our budget or do better than our budget, which we expect to do, to have at least $410,365 of surplus capital in the general fund at the end of year,” he said, adding some history of the fund. “The debt service fund is actually a capital improvement fund but it dates back to the levee, the tax that was implemented when the levee was first constructed, to raise funds for the levee.”

It was later switched to capital improvements. The money has since been refinanced.

“We expect that fund will generate $95,725 more in revenue than we need to cover the refinanced debt service this year,” Toma said. “So that money is available to use for capital improvement.”

He also noted that there is a general fund certificate of deposit (CD) of $237,656.

Toma said the capital improvement funds had been set aside for levee projects that were not pursued.

“The question we have addressed here is ‘How much [reserve] is enough?’” he said.

He said there is no generally agreed up amount that municipalities consider sufficient reserve. It can be anywhere between 25 percent and 100 percent of a year’s general fund budget, he said. The $1.33 million reserve figure is a little over half the city’s annual general fund expenditures.

“This is one issue I kind of have,” Ward 4 Alderman Bryant Wolfin said. “I know we had those discussions, but there was never really a decision determined on what we thought was sufficient.”

He suggested that a resolution should be passed, expressing what level of coverage the city feels is adequate for reserves.

See complete story in the December 18 edition of the Herald.

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