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Goodman council discusses city’s finances, top priorities

by Daniel Bereznicki | January 19, 2023 at 8:25 a.m.
Daniel Bereznicki/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS The city council discusses its top priorities and the city's 2022 financial budget. Overall, Goodman had strong numbers pertaining to the City's budget which exceeded most expectations.

GOODMAN -- The city council in Goodman took a moment to review its 2022 end-of-year financial budget at its Jan. 17 meeting, giving residents a rare look into the city's finances. Goodman Police Department also released its annual report before the council, and board members expressed their two top priorities for the year 2023.

Present at this meeting were Mayor J.R. Fisher; council members John Bunch, Nicholas Smith, Beth Hallmark, Clay Sexson; and city clerk Madisun Branstetter.

The Goodman general fund is used to finance certain government departments and programs such as parks and recreation and the administrative department.

The projected revenue for the 2022 General Fund was $216,782, but the actual income skyrocketed to $250,389.42, meaning the city had a budget surplus of $33,607.42.

Incoming revenue from the sales tax was 127 percent of the projected budget for 2022. The budget amount of $88,000 came back strong at $111,762.45.

Real estate and personal property tax revenue rose to 105 percent from $59,282 to $62,057.78 -- a $ 2,775.78 surplus.

"parks and recreation donations" were projected at $50 but came in at $1,609.47.

"Franchise tax" revenue rose to 110 percent from $40,000 to $43,877.26.

"License and permits" rose to 270 percent from $1,800 to $4,861.21.

When considering the expenses for the city, amounting to $153,293.86 against the revenue of $250,389.42, this gave the city a surplus of $97,095.56 in the general fund budget.

The other departments followed suit.

The sewer budget for 2022 had revenue of $139,223.35 against $133,987.60 in expenses, which gave the city a surplus of $5,235.75.

The water budget for 2022 had a revenue of $286,212.54 with $244,887.71 in expenses. This left a surplus of $ $41,324.83.

The street fund had revenue of $132,086.39 against expenses of $35,747.41 for a surplus of $96,338.98.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said of the police department fund, which collected only $28,592.29 of the projected revenue of $40,000. When comparing $28,592.29 against $270,286.39 in expenses. This left a deficit of $241,694.10.

The biggest expenses were capital improvements at $56,252.48 and repair and maintenance at $12,687.70.

Goodman's chief, Adam Miller, read this year's end-of-year annual report before the council.

"From Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022, we worked 46 domestics, 100 citizen assists, 38 thefts, nine vehicle thefts, 57 animal-related calls, 113 suspicious persons [and suspicious] vehicle calls, 515 traffic stops, 15 traffic pursuits and 2061 total calls in Goodman."

Miller informed the council these are just a few highlighted statistics for last year.

Each council member then addressed residents, informing them of their two top priorities for the city.

Smith spoke first. His first priority is to "expand the tax base to ... grow the city," and his second is to give attention to the city's roads.

Bunch's first priority is to focus on the culverts in the city. He asserts that "culverts and ditches need to be straightened up or (the city) is going to have a problem with its brand new streets." His second priority is to repair certain projects pertaining to city hall. More specifically, the "rock wall," which he feels, if the city neglects, the weather is "going to blow the front of the building out on the sidewalk."

Hallmark says, "I'd like to see a proactive plan to improve Main Street aesthetically and make it more inviting to potential businesses, and I would like to evaluate our comprehensive plan and update it." She also wants the city to continue giving attention to the "issues with the water/waste treatment plant."

Sexson said his priorities are to build sidewalks near schools so students can avoid "having to walk directly on the shoulder" and other dangerous areas. His second priority "is our I and I (inflow and infiltration) issues" because the city still has "a lot of groundwater that leaks into the sewer system."

Inflow and infiltration issues can cause serious problems for the city, such as sewer overflows. This can be expensive to repair. Taking steps to prevent inflow and infiltration issues in the sewer system could save the city millions of dollars in the long run.

The city plans to have an open forum discussing matters pertaining to the city's available funds and spending. This will include discussions on improvements to the city and potentially establishing railroad "quiet zones" within parts of the city limits. The meeting will be held at the Goodman Community Building, 222 E. Garner Street, on Jan. 26. All are welcome.

The city paid bills in the amount of $9,360.95.

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