McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 26, 2013

CITY COUNCIL:

Stasiak says before budget cuts and layoffs, numbers projected $1,062,330 fiscal shortfall

McALESTER — McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak told city councilors he has put together numbers projecting the city would finish the current fiscal year on June 30 with a $1,062,330 revenue shortfall.

However, due to a number of budget cuts, seven layoffs and other cost-saving measures, he now projects the city could end the fiscal year with about  a $4,000 cushion.

Stasiak presented the information to the city council during his city manager’s report, delivered when the councilors met in regular session Tuesday night in the council chambers at City Hall.

The city manager said he realized he was giving the councilors a lot information to absorb during his approximately 10 minute presentation. He said he and the city staff have been working on the numbers for about four weeks.

Stasiak’s study projected the city’s general fund revenues will come in at $453,510 under what had been budgeted for the fiscal year; the McAlester Public Works Authority would come in at $567,655 under-budget and the hotel/motel tax would come in at $41,165 under-budget, for the total revenue shortfall of $1,062,330.

He attributed much of the shortfall to dramatic declines in the city’s sales tax revenue, falling 8 percent under budget in January; 9 percent under budget in February and 16 percent under in March.

Other factors ranged from declining water sales to falling natural gas royalties, according to the city manager.

“This came on very quickly,” Stasiak said.

Stasiak outlined a series of budget cuts and savings by city departments, which he said totaled $1,066,000 —approximately $4,000 above the projected shortfall.

“Right now, we feel we have stabilized the city until the end of the year,” Stasiak said, referring to the June 30 completion of the current fiscal year.

If things get worse over the next few months, more adjustments may have to be made, he said.

 If things get better, “That’s a plus,” said Stasiak.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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