City of Gonzales to end fiscal year in good condition


Some costs decreased in budget

GONZALES — The fiscal year 2018-19 is drawing to a close, and the City of Gonzales’ end-of-year budget numbers are coming in overall as expected with a few items not bringing in revenue and some using fewer funds than projected.

According to City Manager Rene Mendez, the general fund is going to end the fiscal year better than what was projected, with expenditures coming in at $5.3 million versus the projected $5.4 million. Revenues are on target using less than expected at $66,000.

“The reason for that is we’ve had a couple of personnel changes,” Mendez said. “Personnel is the largest portion of our budget when you look at our individual cost.”

The City replaced some police officers during the year who started at the first step on the wage chart, while other officers moved onto higher steps. The planning director position was also filled. With those changes, the City is anticipating putting about $200,000 back into the general fund.

“We came into the year with a $1 million reserve and a fund balance of $1.4 million,” Mendez said.

“We think we’re going to finish the year at that or better.”

For the 2019-20 budget, Mendez is aiming to take out the general fund balance and put it into a separate fund, making the balance a general reserve account. Mendez said designating a general reserve is important because the Gonzales City Council would need to have four out of five votes to use it.

Speaking of the city council, the budget included election costs, which had an increase as well as some increases in the city legal costs. Also, the City has completed its rent payments for facilities and that is no longer in the budget.

Some construction was anticipated in the Agricultural Industrial Park beyond Mann Packing. Three regulatory permits for cannabis expired and nothing happened with those permits.

The After-School Program experienced some changes but did not hit the target number of Fairview Middle School participants needed to have extra expenses.

“Revenues in general are doing pretty well,” Mendez added. “I think the general fund is looking really good. On the non-general fund budgets, none are problematic.”

Circulation, Inter-section improvement or planning for upcoming housing construction expenses funds have not been used yet. For the Water Enterprise fund, there are some instances of increased use, especially in the parks. More revenue is coming in and there is an increase in expenditures. A similar case with the Water Sewer fund, more usage means more revenue is coming in.

“Overall I think all of our funds are operating as expected,” Mendez said. “There’s nothing extraordinary that has happened this fiscal year that would throw us for a loop.”

City of Gonzales works with Greens Accounting through Mike Howard to stay on track during the year and making realistic budgets.

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