Town manager reports revenues and expenses down in Columbia

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

At the end of the third quarter revenues for the Town of Columbia were at 70% of the annual budget anticipation; expenses, meanwhile, were at 57%.

Rhett White, town manager, reported to the board of aldermen April 2 that General Fund revenues from all sources amounted to $530,787, which is 70% of the $752,822 the board budgeted last spring.

The fact that three-fourths of the fiscal year has elapsed but only 70% of the revenue has come in is “not alarming,” White said, pointing out that some sources do not pay until May or June.

On the other hand, White called attention to a payment from the state that was actually 119% of the amount anticipated when the aldermen approved the budget. Even more significant are investment earnings (185%) and CATV franchise fees (184%).

An unexpected townwide fire inspection mandated by the state fire marshal skyrocketed Inspection Department expenses to five times the budgeted amounts.

The cost of workers compensation insurance stood at 144% of budget, and retiree healthcare expense was at $115%.

Repairs to town vehicles were at 163% of annual estimate, and White explained that used vehicles are purchased and that practice almost always results in higher repair costs than experienced with new vehicles.

Mosquito control costs were higher than anticipated, with spraying continuing into November last year, White said.

At bottom, the General Fund expenditures were $433,317 at April 2, which is 57% of the $752,822 appropriated for the year that ends next June 30.

In the Water-Sewer Fund, interest earned through March 31 was at 232% of the amount expected for the whole year, contributing to the $596,636 in revenues so far, 80% of the $744,589 anticipated for the fiscal year.

Water-sewer income from users was at 83%; that is, users had paid $580,114 through April 2 out of $692,000 expected for the entire fiscal year.

With 75% of the year gone, the administrative costs in the Water-Sewer Fund stood at 45%, operating expenses at 74%, other expenses at 17% (but bond principal and interest payments are yet to be made), and the Fund total expenditures were at 48%, or $358,866, on April 2.

White also reported that collections of 2017 property taxes stood at 85.77% of total at April 2, or $263,794 received of the $307,559 levied. A year ago the current-year tax collection percentage was 89.35, and the year before that it was 79.84 percent.