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Amendment OK’d, adds $23 million to current city budget

By Staff | Mar 24, 2009

Cape Coral City Council members voted unanimously Monday to increase the current budget by $23 million, from $490 million to $513 million, an increase of 4.72 percent.
Nearly 70 percent of the increase, about $16 million, comes from items that have already been approved by the council.
Of those funds, $7 million is from a federal grant used to establish the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and $7.8 million goes toward the design-build contract for the new charter high school.
Another $750,000 of the budget increase stems from monies in the 2008 fiscal year’s budget that were not able or not anticipated to be rolled over to this year.
The remaining $6.2 million goes toward the following, according to city documents:
— Park and Recreation program fund transfer of contract position from general fund to support parking program;
— Adjustments for reimbursement from Worker’s Comp fund which were accomplished in fiscal year 2008 through a budget amendment;
— Cash balance adjustments to various funds where variance — positive or negative — was $100,000 or greater;
— Habitat Conservation Plan Development Grant;
— Adjust fund where cost of printing and mailing lot mowing bills were budgeted;
— Transfer cost of fuel for Parks and Recreation pool vehicles from Parks and Recreation program fund to general fund Parks and Recreation administration;
— Reclassify general fund reserves for Economic Development Cash Incentive Program;
— Adjustments to debt service payments for various utility bonds based on fiscal year 2008 redemptions;
— Budget recaptured funds for CDBG and SHIP programs;
— Budget recovery payment from an outside insurance company for median landscaping damages;
— Reclassify general fund land reserves to various fees related to city-owned property;
— Reclassify general fund land reserves to transfers out for reimbursement to parks impact fee fund for the site of the charter high school;
— Seawall Assessment Phase VI Fund — budget existing cash plus estimated interest earning and refund to property owners of record;
— Adjust allocation for City Hall debt service — decrease building fund and increase general fund;
— Charter school operating fund — budget amendment for charter school authority.
Already facing a difficult process in creating next year’s budget and trying to cut it by $10 million, council members stressed that the amendment is due to grants and fund transfers, not spending.
“Those are funds that are added in the ledger, those are funds that come to us. We’re not spending money like drunken sailors,” Mayor Jim Burch said.
“The budget amendment is not about money that we are going to somehow spend, it’s about a change,” Councilmember Derrick Donnell said.