By Jackie Stone
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS – Though the city is projecting revenues will be down $104,000 in the current budget, officials said Monday that savings on individual items and contingency plans should allow the city to absorb most of the loss and head into next year's budget with much of its fund balance intact.
In his quarterly report to the city council, Finance Director Terry Knudsen said because of savings in expenses, the actual budget shortfall is currently projected to be $13,500.
The city has a fund balance of $65,500, enough to cover the shortfall and leave $52,000 in the fund balance heading into what is projected to be another tough year.
"In fact, we're doing quite well, all things considered," he said.
Knudsen also said estimated tax values rose slightly in the most recent report, but the most recent monthly sales tax figures were not available before the meeting.
Members of the council also voted to approve giving the new foundation board of the Lampasas County Higher Education Center, or LCHEC, control of a portion of its $225,000 two-year budget. The school is expected to become self-sustaining after two years.
City Manager Michael Stoldt said now that the board has been selected and begun meeting, he would like to give the members the power to begin making decisions with their funds.
"One thing I've been uncomfortable with in this (project) is that I have no experience with colleges. If you look at the wealth of knowledge here (on the board), they will be able to do much more with this," he said.
Late in 2009, the school received a $100,000 grant as well as matching funds of $25,000 each from the city, the Lampasas Economic Development Corporation, Lampasas County and the Lampasas Independent School District. The city has also committed to give another $25,000 in the 2010-2011.
Stoldt said the money will not be transferred over until each of the entities that contributed funds approves the transfer.
The school began offering its first classes in January.
The council also held a special meeting before its regular meeting Monday night for the first public hearing on the annexation of land around the new Lampasas High School on U.S. Highway 281 and around the new city sports complex on Farm-to-Market 580.
Though there were a handful of people in the audience, there was no comment. The second public hearing is scheduled for May 24.
In other action, the council approved a $21,610 contract for Singleton, Clark and Co. to perform the city's annual audit. The company performed the audit last year as well.
The city manager also reminded council members of the special joint visioning meeting tat 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers.
Contact Jackie Stone at email@example.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow her on Twitter at @KDHcoveeditor.