This week Finance Director Chance Allison confirmed in his budget briefing to Shawnee City Commissioners that the city has indeed had a slow leak draining the piggy bank. Some past overspending and inaccurate projected revenue estimates have been assessed and rectified, therefore patching up the hole and making saving plausible again.

This week Finance Director Chance Allison confirmed in his budget briefing to Shawnee City Commissioners that the city has indeed had a slow leak draining the piggy bank. Some past overspending and inaccurate projected revenue estimates have been assessed and rectified, therefore patching up the hole and making saving plausible again.

No explanation has been offered as to how the rupture remained in the shadows so long.

Whatever the reason, things are now looking up under new command.

Hired long after the problematic issues, Allison — hired in June 2018 — shared with the board some ways he is putting things right.

For year-end FY 2020 Allison said he hopes to end with revenues in the range of $300,000 more than what's being budgeted to spend.

In his report he exhibited adjustments he has made to the small fund budget to ensure more is brought in than is sent out. Watching the pattern from year-to-year, Allison has modified proposed budget estimates in most categories to anticipate slight increases from the previous year.

Street and Alley

In the Street and Alley Fund, which pays for overhead street lighting, motor vehicle and gas excise tax revenue was shown to come in at about $280,000 in 2018. That, along with almost $170,000 in general fund money — plus some permit fees and miscellaneous income, should be adequate to cover costs in 2020. The allotted transfer from the General Fund in 2018 was nearly $362,000 — roughly $178,000 more than was necessary.

E-911

The E-911 Fund, which pays for services, equipment and operations related to the 9-1-1 emergency telephone system, brought in just more than $277,000 in tax collections from telecom carriers in 2018. Expenditures that year showed $290,868 going out for services and Capital Outlay, leaving a deficit of $13,718. The proposed budget for FY 2020 is set to have $300,000 in the fund, plus an estimated $59,000 rolling over from 2018 ($18,438) and this fiscal year (an estimated $40,325).

“FY 2019 actual revenues appear to be slightly higher than budgeted,” Allison said in his presentation.

Revolving Oil and Gas

In the revolving Oil and Gas Fund, which collects permit fees from oil and gas operators, there are no budgeted revenues or expenditures in the fund currently.

“Oil and Gas has not had receipts since FY 2017,” Allison said. “So I'm not budgeting anything in or out of this fund.”

This year, FY 2019, Allison established that the $9,250 in revenue that comes from renewal permits just covers the cost for services. The fund has a balance of $283,229.10.

Economic Development

The Economic Development Fund, collecting sales tax from the one-penny tax, pays for the contract to Shawnee Forward. In Allison's FY 2020 proposal, he plans to reduce the budget to only pay the contract — no extra frills. He noted previous years included SCCDA operating contributions of $60,000 annually from the economic development budget, but in anticipation of a new contract with Spectra the need for that expenditure would not be needed, he said.

Spay/Neuter

The Spay/Neuter Fund, which receives about $2,500 in revenue, provides veterinary services to shelter animals. Spending for the fund in 2018 was just more than $2,000. Allison said he increased the budget a bit to use its balance of $20,700 to provide additional services. New spending is estimated to be $4,500.

Hotel/Motel Surcharge

The Hotel/Motel Surcharge Fund, which gets its revenue from collecting a five-percent hotel/motel surcharge, uses its funds for tourism activities. Allison said the FY 2020 budget of $450,000 is being reined in slightly from the previous year because of a continual decline in hotel/motel surcharge receipts since 2014.

Police Sales Tax

The Police Sales Tax Fund, collecting one-sixteenth sales tax from the one-penny tax, all goes back into the General Fund to assist with costs of maintaining the police department. Nearly $375,000 was secured in 2018. In FY 2020, almost $387,000 is projected to come in, plus annual interest income of around $250. Allison increased the proposed budget by 0.75 percent.

Fire Sales Tax

The Fire Sales Tax Fund, also collecting one-sixteenth sales tax from the one-penny tax, goes back into the General Fund as well, assisting with costs of maintaining the fire department. Figures for this fund are equal to the setup of the police department fund. Nearly $375,000 was secured in 2018. In FY 2020, almost $387,000 is projected to come in, plus annual interest income of around $250. Allison increased the proposed budget by 0.75 percent.

Tax Increment Financing

The Tax Increment Financing Fund, gets its revenue from ad valorem taxes from downtown districts. They also are used for capital reinvestment in that area. Allison said he assumes no significant changes in the tax base for this fund. Ad valorem taxes bring in around $52,600 annually. In FY 2020, Allison's projected ending fund balance is estimated at just more than $205,000.

Drug Forfeiture

The Drug Forfeiture Fund collects drug forfeiture monies from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the District Attorney's Office. About $16,000 was collected in 2018 and just less than $9,000 was distributed for drug enforcement-related materials and supplies. Based on the annual pattern, Allison has estimated close to $15,000 could be collected in FY 2020. The fund appears to be set to keep a balance of just less than $18,000 in it.

“If a large amount of revenue comes in it must specifically be used for drug enforcement activities,” he said.

Gifts and Contributions

The Gifts and Contributions Fund, though on the books in 2018, received $15,350. Funds are used based on donor restriction. In 2018 the fund distributed about $1,400. There are approximately $103,000 in the fund form 2018, but there is no way to project ahead what revenues may come in for this account.

Allison noted he will encumber funds if, and when, they are needed for FY 2020.

Cemetery Care

The Cemetery Care Fund collects cemetery revenues. In 2018, about $5,000 was secured from lot sales and other cemetery-related revenue. Doled out that year was $5,650 for services and charges, as well as any improvements the cemetery might need. The account recorded nearly $162,500 at the end of FY 2018. For 2020, an added $20,000 has been included for capital needs of the cemetery, which will bring the estimated ending fund balance to about $146,000.