The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

November 21, 2012

City seeks funding for equipment

Deficit in fund was projected in 2010

CLINTON — The city of Clinton may need to pursue a $1 million bond to pay for already purchased equipment for the automated trash pickup system.  

City Finance Director Jessica Kinser asked Internal Operations Committee members on Tuesday if they would like to add the $1 million on to a taxable refunding bond to pay for debt associated with the solid waste equipment that had been purchased in the two previous fiscal years.  

“We cannot essentially pay for the equipment that was bought,” Kinser said.

Committee members questioned why the city would need to utilize the bond when the solid waste equipment replacement reserve fund had been established a decade ago to cover the costs. That fund had a $1 million balance in fiscal year 2011, city budget documents show.  

“When the council was originally told over 24 months ago that the money was there to pay for the trucks, that it was basically a wash of funds that were existing, they weren’t there?” Council member Jennifer Graf asked.  

“The statement was made in public session in a council meeting that the money was there, there wouldn’t be debt arising from the purchase of those vehicles,” she said.  

The city did have money to cover the cost of some of the equipment that was purchased. In November 2010, the city purchased recycle trucks for $451,992, leaving the balance of the solid waste equipment replacement reserve fund at $548,441.

However, according to Council meeting minutes from Nov. 9, 2010, former Public Works Director Gary Schellhorn explained to Council members that the purchase of an additional $1.27 million of equipment would leave the equipment replacement fund with a negative $720,727 balance. Schellhorn stated the city would need to save $100,000 per year to pay the finance costs.  

Schellhorn also stated at that time his department was operating with a negative balance of about $104,000, which in fiscal year 2009 stopped the city’s annual practice of putting $100,000 into the equipment replacement reserve fund.  

According to the minutes, Schellhorn stated the $9.25 monthly fee for solid waste would generate $1.46 million based on collection from 5,000 customers. His budget at the time was $1.33 million.    

During the Nov. 9, 2010 meeting, the Council unanimously approved the motion to purchase the equipment from Elliott Equipment Company: three automated trucks, 5,000 garbage bins, 5,000 yard waste bins and computer equipment, leaving the fund negative by slightly more than $720,000.  

Since the $1.27 million was spent, the $100,000 a year has not been saved due to a lack of revenue.

Further compounding the issue, the city continues to purchase solid waste and recycling bins for residents and invoices the purchases to the replacement fund. The balance of the fund is currently negative by approximately $1 million, according to Kinser.  

“You can either borrow for equipment when you need a replacement or you can save for it along the way and this is one where it sounds like there was a misunderstanding of what was actually happening in the cash in this fund,” Kinser said during the IOC meeting Tuesday.  

Committee members decided not to move forward with the $1 million included in the bond to pay for the equipment.  Instead, they moved to wait for the solid waste study results, which will be revealed in January.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City considers upsizing storm sewer capacity CAMANCHE -- Residential development is a key component to the fortitude of Camanche, according to city leaders so they are taking the steps necessary to keep it an appealing location for future investors. To do so, those leaders are looking to up siz

    April 16, 2014

  • Cattail Slough closed due to high water FULTON, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi River Project announces that Cattail Slough recreation area south of Fulton has been closed due to high water levels. The recreation area will remain closed until it has dried out sufficie

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-15-14 jail photo County hears jail proposal

    CLINTON -- A needs assessment study on the Clinton County Jail and communications department is bringing forth more questions on how the city and county will proceed. Former Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission Coordinator Brian McKenrick a

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sex abuse trial under way in Clinton CLINTON -- Prosecutors will present their case today in the trial of a Clinton man accused of sexual abusing a 3-year-old girl. The trial against Russell S. McColley, 39, began late Monday afternoon. He is charged with second-degree sexual abuse, a c

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15-14 Clinton School Board Meeting School board finalizes new budget, cuts positions CLINTON -- Cutting 11 district staff positions to make up for a $636,000 shortfall wasn't an easy task for the Clinton School Board, but was a necessary step in balancing the 2014-2015 budget. That budget received unanimous approval Monday as Clinton

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Share My Name cover photo Northeast grad pens book on Egyptians' suffering GOOSE LAKE -- A new book co-written by a native of Clinton County reveals firsthand the suffering of Christians in Egypt at the hands of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Writing as Rik Doirse to protect those who shared their stories with him, the aut

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fulton park photo Fulton council to pursue new park on donated land

    FULTON, Ill. -- An unexpected turn of events has offered Fulton leaders something they had been hoping to see in the river city-- a community park in the Third Ward. During a Fulton City Council meeting last week, City Administrator Ed Cannon announc

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • County attorney says officer justified in shooting

    The Jackson County Attorney's Office has found a Maquoketa police officer was justified in using deadly force after a motorists fired repeatedly at him.

    The Iowa Department of Public Safety on Monday released details of the April 1 shooting, including dash-cam video played at a news conference.

    April 14, 2014

  • IMG_1031.jpg Legislators: Session lacks productivity

    CLINTON -- Iowa legislators are frustrated with the way this year's session has unfolded, but not everything has come with disappointing results. During a legislative coffee gathering Saturday, Sen. Rita Hart, Rep. Steve Olson and Rep. Mary Wolfe exp

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Central eyes name change DEWITT -- It has been more than 50 years, and the Central Community School District of Clinton County is still talking about it -- Its name. Superintendent Dan Peterson for the second time brought the issue to the Central Board at its meeting Wednesd

    April 12, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.