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Bloomington City Departments Request Budget Reversions, Share In Savings
Updated June 1, 2017 5:15 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Bloomington City department heads saved approximately $3 million in 2016 by delivering services efficiently and not spending every appropriated dollar. Under a new approach implemented by Mayor John Hamilton's administration, half the savings, with council approval, will be made available to those department heads for urgent and high value needs.

"When a department is efficient and gets the job done without spending all of its budget, it's good practice and common sense to make some of that savings for which they worked available for high value help or equipment in their own areas. It's good for our bottom line and for each department. I thank and congratulate our department heads for their excellent financial stewardship of our tax dollars," said Mayor John Hamilton.

In the past, when a City department ended the year with more money than was required to meet expenses, resulting in a savings, the unspent dollars were treated as a general pool for overall needs or reserves.

Beginning in 2016, City departments had the opportunity to share in their respective savings. Fifty percent of the money the department saved during the course of the year was made available to the department for unbudgeted uses. Mayor Hamilton stated, "With this sharing system, we are still able to support the general fund with $1.2 million, our departments receive some money for much-needed improvements they have identified, and the city is still able to maintain more than adequate reserves."

Of the $3.9 million available in reversion funds, which includes some $900,000 in higher than projected revenues, $1.5 million is requested for return to various departments, $1.2 million is requested for capital/vehicle replacement and equipment upgrades, and $1.2 million is requested to go into the City's reserves. Tonight's spending request to council of $2.7 million includes requests for equipment, training, supplies, outside services, program support for grants and outreach efforts, equipment replacement, capital/vehicle replacement and short-term personnel.

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends, at a minimum, that general purpose governments maintain an unrestricted General Fund balance of no less than two months of regular general fund operating revenues or regular general fund operating expenditures. After the appropriation of these reversions, the City will continue to maintain reserves equal to four months of regular general fund operating expenditures.

Six funds will have 2016 end of year reversions: General Fund, Parks General Fund, Motor Vehicle Highway, Parking Facilities, Parking Meter and Vehicle Replacement.

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