JAMESTOWN – City officials will be keeping a close eye on the bottom line of the 2013 city budget for the remainder of this year. Earlier this week, city comptroller Joe Bellitto gave the city council a mid-year budget update, citing several issues to that will need to be watched closely for the remainder of the year.
According to Bellitto, several expenditure lines in the budget could be on their way to exceeding projected spending, adding that three of them are coming out of the department of public works.
“With overtime budget we’re already at 54 percent at DPW and Parks, compared to 43 percent last year. We’ve already exceeded our entire salt budget for the year by $24,000. Corresponding to that, the gasoline and diesel fuel consumption for the DPW is about 28 percent higher this year through five months, so we’ve already used half the budget through five months.”
Bellitto adds that the city fire department may also see increase in overtime expenses this year compared to last year. And he said given that the city is still in the process of collective bargaining with all five of its labor unions and if an agreement is reached by the end of the year, that may also have a possible impact on the budget.
While there are some areas of this year’s spending that can create concern, Bellitto said there are some positives as well. He said that fuel consumption for the fire, police and parks departments are all below the projected pass. Bellitto also said that four of the five divisions of the BPU are currently running with a revenue surplus. Collectively, the BPU is about $100,000 over budget on the revenue side.
Bellitto says the second quarter sales tax totals for the city will arrive in the next couple of weeks, and that could be a positive considering the first quarter sales tax revenue was more than what had been projected.