HUMBOLDT — Humboldt residents have been cutting back on their water usage in recent years, which has hit the city’s pocketbook.
Water usage was down overall for both 2008 and 2009, which means the city did not bring in as much revenue to its water and sewer funds, Humboldt City Administrator Larry Tucker told City Council members.
As a result, the city was required Monday to transfer $60,000 to the water and $46,000 to the sewer operations funds so that they could be in balance for auditing purposes.
Those transfers are coming from water and sewer reserves, Tucker said. The transfer, approved 6-0 by councilmen, nearly depletes those reserves, which had been at $114,582. Council members Jeremy Weilert and Jerry Griffith were absent.
Tucker noted that the city is cutting expenses for both funds to ensure they remain in balance for the duration of 2010. The goal, he said, is to ensure all city utility funds become self-sufficient and not reliant on end-of-year transfers.
“A year from now, this shouldn’t be a problem,” he said.
Council members also approved spending $3,308 to purchase a new sewer lift station to accommodate the new H&H Small Engine repair shop, and another $400 to have the lift station installed.
In another budget matter, council members approved transferring $10,000 from the general fund to equipment reserves in order to eventually buy a new fire truck.
To date, $80,000 has been set aside for the truck. The transfer is less than in previous years, Tucker noted, because Humboldt’s sales tax revenues were down about 15 percent in 2009. For comparison’s sake, Iola’s sales tax revenues were down about 3.7 percent in 2009.
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