Wheeling Officials Prepare to Close Fiscal Year | News, sports, jobs
WHEELING – Officials in Wheeling resolve some open issues as the current fiscal year ends and ends next week.
Members of the council’s finance committee recently met to review the city’s monthly financial report for May and to discuss the final budget revisions needed to balance the books before the fiscal year ends.
“This is really just a final adjustment to the general fund budget”, Wheeling Finance Director Seth McIntyre said. “This adjustment has no effect on revenue and there is no effect on expenditure.”
Earlier this month, city officials reviewed a budget revision that took into account additional revenue from federal COVID relief funding, specifically the first of two $ 14.1 million payments the city recently made from U.S. bailout allocations for communities had received.
City council members passed a resolution last week approving a revision of the city’s general fund budget for the 2020-21 financial year ending next Wednesday.
Part of the most recent adjustment concerned expenditure items.
âEssentially, we’re just making a couple of year-end adjustments to ensure we have some funding to cover a handful of expenses that we weren’t expecting before the end of the year, especially with regards to some new entrants to the DROP program (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) and also a reduction in our general fund contribution to the Workers Compensation Fund “, said McIntyre. “We budgeted that at about 2.75% of the salaries, and it turns out we only need about 2.1%.”
Earlier this year, the city council approved the DROP program for senior members of the Wheeling Fire Department, which basically allows those interested in the DROP to freeze their pension for up to five years – if put aside while they continue to work in the DROP fire department instead of retiring immediately upon eligibility.
Officials also approved revisions to the city’s coal severance tax budget for the current fiscal year.
“We initially estimated about $ 80,000 in coal severance tax revenue.” McIntyre explained. âWe didn’t get that. We received just under $ 50,000. This will reduce the revenue budget for this fund by $ 30,000. However, we spent around $ 66,000 from this fund, so there is a corresponding adjustment to the spending lines and a revision to the original budget to account for an additional fund balance that existed at the beginning of the year. So with this budget revision there is a net cost reduction of about $ 16,000. “
Members of the Council’s Finance Committee also adopted the May financial report. Assistant City Manager Bill Lanham noted that the city’s municipal budget stabilization fund was in good shape in late May and early this month. Last year during the pandemic, the city was able to receive approximately $ 1 million a month from CARES to reimburse pandemic-related expenses. Most of the reimbursements under the CARES Act were paid into either the Municipal Budget Stabilization Fund or the City Project Fund.
“Our budget stabilization fund is $ 4,938,085” Lanham said “And in June – after or near – we should have about $ 5 million in this stabilization fund.”
In other actions, Lanham reported that the recently revived Municipal Building Commission held its first meeting last week. Earlier this month the council approved the appointment of three former city guides to the city’s building commission, tasked with overseeing a number of new construction projects for which the city is expected to assume debt. These projects include a new Wheeling Police headquarters on the former Ohio Valley Medical Center campus, a new Wheeling Fire Department headquarters on 17th Street and Wood Street, and a new multi-story parking garage on Market Street and 11th Street.
Mike Nau was elected Chairman of the Commission, with Gene Fahey as Vice-Chair and David Miller as member of the Commission. The next scheduled meeting of the group is on July 6th.