John K. Manna
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
The city of New Castle has ended another year in the black.
Revenue exceeded expenses by $41,936.47 in 2013, according to a financial report prepared by Stephanie Dean, the city’s chief financial officer/business administrator.
It was the fifth consecutive year the city ended in the black since the state declared it a distressed municipality under Act 47.
Dean presented her report to council at its work session Tuesday.
Last year, revenue exceeded spending by more than $1 million.
Dean said the main goal under Act 47 is to finish in the black, regardless of the amount.
“The only anticipation we had was to stay within the budget,” Dean said.
Although there was a drop in revenue from 2012 to 2013, Dean said, the city still collected 100 percent of what had been budgeted.
“So, I think that was pretty good.”
The city also stayed within the budget on the expense side, spending 100 percent of what was budgeted.
She noted a few exceptions of overspending, including expenses for the municipal garage. It exceeded its budget by about $58,000 or 17 percent. Costs are up for maintenance because the city has old equipment, she said, adding it’s difficult to budget for that line item.
Dean also reported the city’s cash on hand as of Dec. 31 was $2,935,275. That figure is $452,718 lower than the 2012 balance.
She attributed the decrease to the payoff of $2.6 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for downtown improvements and a transfer to the pension fund.
Paying off the loan in the amount of $800,000 will save the city $91,000 in interest and reduce the amount that has to be budgeted for debt service by $225,000 per year beginning in 2015.
Dean budgeted $889,750 as a transfer from the general fund to the pension fund to cover an increase in the city’s minimum municipal obligation that is required by state law.
But only $711,091 had to be transferred, she said, “which means we did better in the collection of wage tax than anticipated.” Some wage tax revenue is used to cover pension fund costs.