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Additions To Collinsville Budget Reflects Growth

By Emily Klein, Reporter

The Collinsville City Council made amendments to its yearly budget to reflect operational changes on the council meeting on Monday, July 8. The primary changes were the additions of the Gateway Convention Center and assets to Parks and Recreation.

Increases to the 2019 budget were made to reflect operational changes that were made after the original budget was made on December 11, 2017. The changes to the amendment are primarily to add the Gateway Convention Center and assets to the Parks and Recreation department, including the Aqua Park, activity center and Willoughby Farms. The amendment also reconciles personnel costs (wages and benefits), the 2019 capital improvement plan, additional development and support for the finance team required due to the absence of a finance director. The board voted unanimously to pass the amended budget. This budget is also the first year that the city has had Collinsville’s parks under their control.

“This is our first year with our data and we’re comfortable with it,” said city manager Mitch Blair.

Additionally, revenues were analyzed for the budget amendment looking at past years and estimating potential revenues for Collinsville. The Gateway Convention Center and Parks and Recreation department were not previously budgeted for the city, a decision made by the previous finance director, but there are available resources to cover expenses for each.

The city also plans to link the budget and the Capital Improvement Plan together to make sure the plan is properly managed to the budget. This was not done in previous years by prior finance directors. Collinsville also established a new fund to track the cost of hotel/motel tax revenues, which have been assigned to pay off debts and other particular expenditures.

In government-wide financial statements, the city’s assets and resources exceeded its liabilities by around $29 million. The largest portion of the city’s net position reflects its investments in capital assets.

In 2017, this number was $23 million which is an increase of around $5 million, or 23.9 percent. The chamber agreed that the unconventional way the city is run is working in its favor.

“This is the best way to do it,” said council member Jerome. “We run the city like a business would, but we’re not trying to maximize profit, you’re trying to maximize the impact a city could have.”

Governmental activities for the city increased around $14 million and the business type activities increased by approximately $600,000. The revenues for governmental activities increased by $11 million from 2017 to 2018, while expenses increased by $5 million. This increase in revenue is mainly because of the increase in capital grants.

At the end of 2018, the city had a total of long-term debt of $59 million, compared to $49 million at the end of 2017. This is an increase from 2017 of $10 million or 20.4 percent in 2018. The increase of debt is a result from merging authority of the Gateway Convention Center amounting in $5 million and an additional IEPA loan of $8 million. When using the population estimate, this equates to $2,294 of total debt per capita.

Budget basis expenditures in the general fund were $24 million, which is $1 million less than the final, amended budget. The general fund finished in 2018 at 95.4 percent or 4.6 percent under budget.

Collinsville’s total investment in capital assets increased to $99 million, an increase of $24 million or 32.1percent from the 2017 total.

Revenue for the city in the 2019 budget included an amount of $21 while the 2019 budget amendments increase those revenues by $250,000. Most of these amendments are due to tax revenues, intergovernmental revenues, and miscellaneous revenues. Tax revenues included the hotel/motel tax, food and beverage tax, property tax, and the telecommunications tax. Out of all of the taxes, only the hotel tax and food tax increased from the previous years. Intergovernmental revenues totaled to $13 million, and the 2019 budget amendment includes an increase for this category of $1.5 million. Sales tax, income tax, use tax, and other governmental revenues increased in revenue. The replacement tax and DUI grant decreased from previous years. The 2019 budget included other revenues of $4 million this was an increase of $400,000 from previous years. Other revenues includes licenses, permits, and fines.

The budget had a total expenditure amount of $23 million, and was an increase of $500,000.

Expenditures includes the streets department, police and fire, city council, and other government departments. Many of the departments came in under budget, except for the fire department, police department, operations, human resources, information technology, economic development, inspections, finance, and parks and recreation. The council then compared the financial standing of current years to the financial recession they experienced a few years ago.

“I feel comfortable,” said Blair. “We’re in a position where we don’t need to take on any new debts. … We have a good idea of if the worst happens to the economy, what do we need to do to get through that? It’s never been a full shut off of the spigot.”

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