Mayor's Budget Retreat Feb. 2

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor's Budget Retreat Feb. 2

Posted: 02/02/2010
Mayor Bill Haslam told City Council today that the city is continuing to stretch its resources to maintain city services at current levels and continue its redevelopment efforts despite a weak economy.

Haslam's remarks came during the mayor's budget retreat, an annual mid-winter meeting that looks at the city's financial status halfway through the fiscal year and also provides a preview of next year's budget.

Because there are five newly-elected Council members this year's meeting also included a detailed look at how the city's budget is structured including sources of revenues, its different funds and its expenditures. The discussion also examined the different steps the administration and Council go through to develop the annual budget.

Presentations on the city's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or federal stimulus funds; the employee's compensation plan; Knoxville Area Transit and the Mayors' Office of the Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness were also scheduled.

Jim York, the city's director of finance, will report that the city projects general fund revenues of $163,048,170 for Fiscal Year 2010, which ends on June 30 - or about $2.3 million less than the city expected. Most of that is due to a continuing decline in sales taxes.

In response the city plans to spend $2.3 million dollars less to maintain a balanced budget.

The general fund budget is the one the city uses to fund its day-to-day operations.

York also reported that the city anticipates ending the year with a fund balance - essentially the city's savings - of $52 million. The fund balance has grown from $18 million in 2004. He also reported that the city's debt continues to decline.

Haslam told Council that the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year will be a challenging one for the city due to the continued weakness of sales tax revenues and the difficult economic climate but that the city will continue to operate within a balanced budget.