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Mount Washington finances solid; carryover big

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By Alex Wimsatt

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - While many communities across the county have experienced difficulty keeping local budgets in the black, city records show Mount Washington with an estimated $1.7 million budget surplus for the last fiscal year, which ended on June 30.

    During the last regular meeting of the City Council, city treasurer Peggy Brinkman read the final treasurer’s report of the 2009-2010 fiscal year, making it the twelfth consecutive monthly report showing city coffers with a positive flow.

    Brinkman said the city’s financial statements showed that Mount Washington was not only fiscally sound, but in the best financial shape it’s been in many years.

    The city’s 2009-2010 General Fund budget was $10.5 million and city records show a surplus of $472,000 in that particular fund, while the Water & Sewer Fund shows a $1,200,000 of excess revenues over expenses.

    “Both funds benefited by exceptional cash management, budget control and cutting expenses,” Brinkman said.

    “This means the surplus funds will be reinvested in the city and the citizens of Mt. Washington will see community improvements and a continued good level of government services.”

    Brinkman, who has served as city treasurer for eight years, said the 2009-2010 budget surplus was the largest she’s seen during her tenure.

    Councilman Barry Armstrong commended the administration for their work on the budget, thanking them for their oversight.

    “We ended up with a fairly nice surplus,” Armstrong said. “I know somebody was watching.”

    The city treasurer initially prepares the budget, keeping up with figures on a daily basis, however she said the surplus was attributed to hard work on the part of administrative staff, the mayor and council members combined.

    “We’re all in it together,” Brinkman said.

    Brinkman added that the surplus was no fluke, explaining that she and Mayor Joetta Calhoun had kept a close eye on expenditures throughout the year, making sure the city had enough money to finance the new wastewater treatment plant currently under construction.

    Besides careful budgeting and administrative thriftiness, Brinkman said water and sewer rate increases helped contribute to the surplus.

    Calhoun said the city’s financial statements wouldn’t be official until they’re audited in September, but she said the city was looking good.

In other business:

*The sidewalks between Bardstown Road and Snapp Street will soon be replaced on both sides along Highway 44 thanks to a $200,000 Surface Transportation Program (SLO) grant from the Federal Transit Administration and a required match grant paid by the state with toll-road funds.

    In order to receive the SLO grant, or any federal funds for that matter, the city is required to adopt federal guidelines for the preparation and processing of federal funds.

    Councilman Armstrong introduced an ordinance setting standards for competitive bidding when federal funds are used and the council heard first reading of the ordinance.

    “The ordinance enacting federal procurement procedures is a formality to meet requirements so the City can receive federal monies,” said city clerk Butch Stovall.

    Mayor Calhoun said the legislation was a formality to show that the city was following federal guidelines.

    “As far as the way we’re required for receiving federal funding, nothing’s changing,” she said.

    However, Calhoun explained that if the city didn’t adopt the ordinance the city wouldn’t receive federal grants.

    The ordinance would only affect federal projects.

    There’s already an ordinance on the books regarding the Kentucky model

procurement code.

    *Councilman Shot Dooley introduced an ordinance annexing roughly six acres on Barbara Sue Lane.

    James and Barbara Vincent, who own the property, recently filed a consent form with the city clerk.

    James Vincent asked that the property containing two tracts of land be annexed so city sewers could run to the parcels.

    The property was recently rezoned from farmland to R1-Residential, according to Vincent.

* Calhoun publicly congratulated the under-8 Mount Washington All-Star team for their recent win at the West Kentucky State competition.

    “I commend all the young athletes, not only for winning, but for their spirit and work ethic,” she said.

    Calhoun also recognized the schools in Mount Washington, stating that some of the best performing schools in the district were located in the city.

    The next regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council will be held on Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Annex Building on Branham Way.

    The public is invited to attend.