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Leitchfield signs off on deficit budget

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By Rebecca Morris

Leitchfield expects its expenses to exceed revenue by more than $700,00 in the coming fiscal year, under its recently-adopted budget.
During a special meeting June 27, the city council signed off on the 2017-18 budget, which took effect July 1.
It projects revenue in the general fund at $7,446,622, in the utilities fund at $6,811,250 and in the tourism fund at $978,700.
However, spending in the general fund is expected to hit $7,851,345, while spending in the utilities and tourism funds are projected to hit $7,200,280 and $813,700, respectively.
That totals deficits of $404,723 in the general fund and $389,030 in the utilities department. Tourism will see a positive fund balance of $165,000.
Despite the red ink, Leitchfield’s overall bank balances remain positive.
Mayor William Thomason previously has pointed out that enough money is being carried forward from year to year for the city to maintain a surplus of more than $7 million in the general fund. The utilities fund has a more than $10 million surplus.
Also during the June 27 meeting, the council approved final amendments to the 2016-17 budget. Those had the general fund ending the fiscal year June 30 with revenue topping more than $9 million and expenses of a little more than $11 million. Tourism fund revenues came in at $949,000, with expenses of $792,000. Utilities receipts topped $6.1 million, but spending topped $6.9 million.
The Utilities Commission previously had said part of that deficit was due to the warmer winter: natural gas sales were down.