Ocean City Today
https://oceancitytoday.villagesoup.com/p/1678243

Amendment boosts budget by $9.84 million

City officials seek to move money to recognize radio lease, property purchases
By Katie Tabeling | Aug 10, 2017

(Aug. 11, 2017) Ocean City officials are seeking to transfer money from one account to another by passing a second budget amendment to the fiscal year 2017 budget that would increase the overall financial package by $9.84 million.

Budget Manager Jennie Knapp told the City Council last Tuesday there were two major line items that were covered by the amendment: the purchases of a lot on Second Street and the Philadelphia Avenue Post Office, and a lease for the fire department’s new radio equipment.

“The biggest expense was our land purchase [at $3.3 million]. We budgeted for potential land acquisition expense and we used $120,000 for settlement costs. Then we issued a bond for $2.9 million for the actual purchase,” Knapp said during the work session. “The other large increase is the radio capital lease purchase at almost $5.8 million.”

The radio lease is for $5.5 million, with the principal and interest payment at $258,670 for FY17. Knapp said this loan is not included in the general fund, as it will be covered through the water tower cell antennae monthly fees paid by users.

“We have enough for a payment for this year, 2018 and 2019. After that, the cost will be billed to the departments that use the radio systems,” Knapp said following the meeting.

Under the budget amendment, the $84 million general fund will increase by $3.68 million. That reflects additional revenue, including the $2.9 million bond for the property purchase.

There was also $548,104 in room and income tax, $178,000 in permit fees and $484,667 in other streams, including the Crown Castle cell system agreement. Notably, Ocean City picked up $653,000 after increasing the parking fees and the meter’s service dates.

Expenses rose to $4.16 million because of the land purchases, but Knapp said the city reduced spending by roughly $477,000 to bring that cost down to $3.68 million. This was done by using funds set aside to hire a strategic planning consultant and other accounts and reducing the convention center fund transfer by $30,500.

Other expenses include $22,000 transfer to Eagle’s Landing Golf Course to cover an expected shortfall, $65,500 for a design of the new Whiteside tram facility and $63,235 in an inlet parking lot barcoding system and re-decking the Boardwalk.

Knapp recommended transferring $1.68 million from the fund balance, the resort’s financial backup cushion, to cover all costs.

The City Council unanimously passed the budget amendment on first reading during Monday’s session. Second reading for the budget amendment is set for Aug. 21.

 

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