Expenses Threaten To Drain City's Fund Balance

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Comptroller Jim Mills's year-end report says the city ended its fiscal year in June more than $1 million in the hole -- a gap that had to be covered from the city's fund balance.

That wasn't unexpected, but Mills predicts similar gaps for several years to come.

The comptroller says the fund balance can't keep the city in the black forever.

"After the next couple budget years, I feel it'll probably be to its minimum level that we should not go below to remain financially solid," Mills said.

Meanwhile, some unexpected expenses are looming.

The city's water tank at Thompson Park may need major work, to the tune of close to $1 million.

"We are catching a tank in an advanced state of corrosion that does need to be addressed and does need to be stopped," said water superintendent Mike Sligar.

Sligar says he can find no records of the tank ever having any major work done.

Sligar wonders if it might be too late.

"Does it make sense to put that kind of money into an old tank? he asks.

"Is there enough life left in the old tank that would justify such an expense?"

Also, the Clinton Street reconstruction project is getting more expensive.

A recent change order for nearly $200,000 puts the project cost at $1.7 million.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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