By Frank Lewis
The city of Portsmouth will have to transfer money from two funds to four other funds in order to satisfy the requirements of the Auditor of State’s proposed finding for adjustment as a result of over-allocated central service costs in the 2013 budget.
On Monday night City Council took steps to make that happen by giving first reading to what had been an emergency measure. After planning to suspend the rule requiring three readings, Fifth Ward Councilman Gene Meadows asked City Auditor Trent Williams if they could give the issue at least one more reading and still meet the deadline. When Williams said they could carry it over to the next meeting, then suspend the rules and pass the measure, Council voted to give it a first reading. Meadows said he preferred the public have time to look at the ordinance and voice their opinion before passage.
The adjustment calls for a decrease of $148,185 in the General Fund balance and $86,015 in the Sewer Fund balance, then to take that money and increase the Flood Defense Fund balance by $72,205; the Street Maintenance Fund balance by $128,474; the Water Fund balance by $14,427 and the Sanitation Fund balance by $19,074.
In separate action Council gave first reading to an ordinance transferring funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fund 261 to several other city funds. When the ordinance passes it will result in the transfer of monies from that fund to Wastewater Fund 621 in the amount of $47,324.54; Flood Defense Fund 265 in the amount of $32,471.13; Campground Fund 801 in the amount of $1,993.18 and General Fund 101 in the amount of $13,020.20.
The ordinance says overtime in those departments have been occasions in which the city of Portsmouth has received reimbursement for activities and damaged property from FEMA, winch the intent of the revenues was to reimburse the funds in which the expense occurred. The ordinance says the funds were never distributed back to the original funds and not all of the reimbursement can now be identified.
As of June 23, 2014 there was a balance of $94,809.05 in FEMA Fund 261.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.