October 30, 2017
ELMIRA, NY (WENY) -- The City of Elmira has been facing a looming deficit for the past few years, but now officials have developed a plan to hopefully address those issues.
A "Corrective Action Plan" (below) was unanimously approved by City Council Monday night and will now be sent to the State Comptroller's Office.
The "Corrective Action Plan" aims to address critical fund balance issues over the next 10 years.
"We're going to achieve that through the different growth and opportunities available here within the city such as different projects that are being constructed. Tonight we increased our fee schedule which was approved by City Council. A couple months ago we increased the parking fines which was approved by Council," says City Manager Michael Collins.
The State Comptroller's Office issued a Financial Condition Report back in March which revealed the City of Elmira incurred operating deficits from 2013 through 2015 totaling $4.5 million.
While there have been many steps to alleviate some of the debt, such as shared services, the city is still in the red.
Collins says by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, the city was in a deficit by a few hundred-thousand dollars, which has increased.
"Our numbers are tentatively in for 2016. It has not been reviewed with council as of yet, but as soon as that's available that will be on an upcoming agenda," Collins says.
While the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award funding of $10 million will benefit future projects in the city, which are expected to generate funds, none of that money is allowed to go towards a capital fund or to correct a deficit.
"Certainly when we have the DRI $10million that does not go into our capital budget it does not go into our general operating budget. It does not offset any of our financial deficits," Collins explains.
City Manager Michael Collins says next auditor report, which will include 2016 numbers, is expected during the next City Council workshop.
The 2018 budget proposal will be announced on November 15th.