FY2012 Budget Questions Answered


If you watched the DeKalb City Council meeting last Monday, you know that I had prepared questions for the public hearing but was prohibited from asking them.

So I sent the questions to Laura Pisarcik, who was hired as the central purchasing person but who now seems to be acting as an assistant city manager, at least as concerns the budget. Emboldened answers are taken verbatim from response e-mail.

Q: How much are we budgeting per gallon for gasoline this coming year?

A: The City buys the gasoline/diesel in bulk, and currently Gas is 3.10 and Diesel is 3.38 per gallon, then additional 15% is added on top for price increases.

Q: The city is expecting $1.3 million in federal and state airport grants for FY12. Can you tell me what the match is, and where the actual expenditure can be found in the budget.

A: City share is 2.5% of the airport projects, which is included in line #48-8638.

This is the “Airport Improvements” line item, which for FY2012 is $529,746 (see p. 92 of the budget). As the grants come through — IF they come through — the matches are voted on separately.

Therefore, this is a significant amount that could potentially be included in contingency planning, which up to now has only involved the now-discontinued line of credit, according to Ms. Pisarcik.

Q: Beginning in FY2009, Council decided to establish a separate Economic Development Fund to account for economic development services purchased from outside agencies, but Hopkins Services is not listed as being paid out of this fund. Has the contract for Hopkins Services been added to this budget proposal? If so, where is it? If not in Econ Dev, why not?

A: This is located under the Public Works planning and Economic Development program Line #657-8399 page 82. It is located here because the original intent was to hire a Director of Economic, planning and Development Director, however the City outsourced the work.

In my opinion, the expenditure should not stay under Public Works because it would go against established budget policy, which accounts for the costs of outside economic help by spending out of one designated fund.

Q: An 11.71% increase in sales and use taxes is projected for FY12, which means an increase of $1.2 million for the General Fund. Where does this number come from? What indicators are being used to justify the expectation of a $1.2 million increase?

At this point, Ms. Pisarcik referred me to tax revenue figures used in her budget estimates, which I will share in a separate post since this one’s getting lengthy.