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Princeton Park Board approves tentative 2013-14 budget

PRINCETON – The Princeton Park District Board approved a tentative budget for the district’s 2013-14 fiscal year.

A final draft of the budget is expected to be approved on Sept. 3.

Executive Director Elaine Russell discussed the highlights of the budget and reminded the board the current projected revenue and expense figures will continue to shift because year-end figures from the current fiscal year are not yet in.

Overall, in the corporate, recreation and metro/enterprise funds, where most of the park board’s financial activity occurs, the revenue is projected to decrease $58,345, and expenses are projected to increase $5,315.

Russell explained the revenue’s large decrease weighs heavily upon the fact the park district didn’t receive its usual $40,000 in taxes from Perry Memorial Hospital.

“Considering our expenses are only up $5,315, I think that shows we’ve got a cap, and we’re sticking to it,” she said. “Everyone is living within their budget needs.”

Russell reviewed two changes she made to the tentative budget, which will help the park district board stay within budgeted limits and reduce the amount of money they bond each year. The first change was listing the potential $819,658 bond amount in the general obligations bond fund at $810,000.

“By doing this we will have an extra $9,658 cash in bank,” she said.

Russell said the park district has raised their bond issuance to the maximum.

“We really don’t want to be there because we don’t have a back-up plan,” Russell said.

Her goal is to get the budget stable, so the district can begin reducing the amount they bond out.

“We can’t continue to bond $800,000 every year,” she said. “If we can refrain from using all our bond dollars, we can start bonding for less, which will allow us to build up bonds funds that we can use in the event of an emergency.”

The second change Russell reviewed is of the $810,000 bonds, she only distributed $380,000 in the corporate and metro/enterprise funds, using only $760,000 of the bond money.

“This essentially has $50,000 sitting in our G.O. bond fund which can be easily transferred to either account if needed,” she said. “This is my way to try and live within tight budget restrictions for both corporate and metro/enterprise funds which is where most of our financial activity occurs.”

Russell said her goal prior to departing from the park district is to make sure it has $100,000 in the bank to fall back on.

“We don’t have that safety net right now, which is why I’m so adamant about what we pick and choose to do,” she said.   

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