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Statham discusses budget

POSTED: May 28, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Statham officials are hashing out details as they prepare for a new budget that’s been hampered by coding issues under a new software system.

Statham leaders spent the better part of two hours Tuesday discussing the proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget. They worked through various departments’ revenues and expenditures from the current fiscal year as they gear up for a new budget that’ll be voted on this summer.

Prior to the start of budget talks the city officials had a proposed $2.4 million budget that was $129,000 more in expenses than revenue to meet in projected expenditures. However, those numbers are expected to change following Tuesday’s meeting.

City Clerk Harriett Kilpatrick said she’s been working with an accounting firm and a software company to try to resolve some budgeting issues.

Last year the city switched to a new software system to calculate its revenues and expenses.

One problem is that the definition of "revenues and expenses" is different in some areas compared to the previous system. A coding issue has led to water and sewer fees recently being moved to a different part of the balance ledger.

"Since we have accrual based software the actual dollars we receive is not treated as revenue, it’s treated as assets," Kilpatrick said.

Through the end of April the city had billed $817,000 for water, but only received $640,000. The city had also received $7,000 more in sewer fees than expected.

City leaders said they felt comfortable with increasing the income received through water and sewer bills from $804,000 to $900,000 for the upcoming year.

"We have a substantial unpaid amount," Kilpatrick said about billed revenues in water and sewer bills.

In some areas the city has received less revenue than projected for the current fiscal year. The city had projected $270,000 in property taxes but with fewer than three months remaining had only brought in $229,000. Also, the city has taken in $132,000 in franchise fees compared to a projected $150,000. Meanwhile, there has been more than $74,000 than expected in areas such as the title ad valorem taxes and the miscellaneous general fund.

For more information on Statham’s budget read Sunday’s edition of the Barrow County News.

 

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