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Leaders examine budget

IRONTON — Keeping a promise made last month, Ironton City Council’s Finance Committee met for the second consecutive month to pore over the city’s current financials.

The two-hour meeting allowed members of the committee, Mayor Rich Blankenship and Finance Director Kristen Martin the opportunity to examine closely line-item by line-item both the city’s general fund and its numerous restricted fund budgets.

Unlike the August meeting, which focused on the city’s past results and future forecasts, Tuesday’s meeting gave Martin the opportunity to tackle the current status of any current budget item the committee asked about.

Martin also took the time to explain the history about any types of additions or deletions on specific line item.

The committee decided to start meeting on a monthly basis following projections for 2010 and 2011 that showed the city going though all of its general fund cash carry over balance.

Through the first six months of 2009, the city’s general fund is on budget with a 3 percent increase in general fund revenues compared to being right on par in terms of general fund expenses.

Adjusted following a budgetary ordinance that will be brought before council on Thursday, the city of Ironton now anticipates $4.967 million in general fund revenues to offset the $5.513 million in general fund expenses.

The nearly $546,000 shortfall is shored up by the city’s general fund carryover cash balance of $779,146 they began 2009 with.

Figures produced Tuesday by Martin show the city’s general fund carryover balance estimated to be at $233,181 at the start of 2010.

Two years ago, the city started 2008 with nearly $1.1 million in its cash carryover balance.

Council will continue to talk about its finances at Thursday’s council meeting where discussion over the installation and inspection of the more than 140 extendable backwater valves needing to be installed for residents plagued by sewer and storm water backups this summer.

The city had put out to bid the installation of the values.

Those bids were opened Tuesday. Bids ranged from 280,000 on the low end to more than $600,000 on the high end.

Currently the city had an emergency contract with Ironton-based Mi-Di-Con to install the approximately 40 backwater values already in place.

The next Finance Committee Meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Ironton City Center.