Graphic courtesy of the city of Gardner

 Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The overall fiscal condition of the City of Gardner is sound, Mathew Wolff, finance director, told a council meeting March 18.
In a 2018 end of year financial report, Wolff said the city’s general fund realized $327,000 more in revenues than estimated. That represents 2.6 percent of the general fund budget.
Wolff said that expenditures from the general fund were 1.8 percent or $237,000 less than estimated. That ensures that the fund realized a 26-30 percent increase above projections.
Inspection, zoning and subdivision fees brought in $59,000 or 328.6 percent above estimates while charges for general city services realized a 136 percent increase above estimates. Property taxes brought in $34,000 less than estimated, and building permits brought in $21,000 less than estimated.
While overall expenditures from the general fund were 1.7 percent or $237,000 less than estimated, the salaries for administrative staff were $296,000 above estimates.
Wolff said that the police department, the public works department and parks and recreation all reported expenditures less than estimated.
He said revenues to the electric fund were $468,000 higher than estimated, a 2.7 percent jump on projections, while expenditures were $217,000 less than estimated.
“There’s $3.1 million in the Electric Capital Replacement Reserve Fund,” he said.
The water fund balance increased by 44-84 percent above estimates. The increase is even after seeing a 20.4 percent increase in expenditures above projections against a revenue increase of 2.1 percent above projections.
The water fund saw $132,000 in revenues above estimates while expenses ran at $1.3 million more than projected.
The wastewater revenues were $2.6 million (28.7 percent) less than projected while expenses in the fund were $2.4 million (27.6 percent) above projections. Nonetheless, the wastewater balance increased by an estimated 12 to 15 percent, according to Wolff.
“The general budget is slightly above 22-25 percent of target, the electric and water funds are robust while the wastewater fund is adequate” Wolff said. “The city’s overall fiscal condition is sound.”

In other business
• Rich Melton, council member, thanked the police department for successfully completing an active shooter drill at Wheatridge Middle School. Melton said he was the designated active shooter during the drill and appreciated all the work that goes into keeping schools safe.
“I don’t know why they’re always designating me the active shooter in these drills, but I appreciate the police department for their work,” he said.
• the city authorized the city administrator to execute an addendum with Burns and McDonnell engineering company for design services on the I-35 and Gardner Road Interchange
• approved a staff recommendation to chip-seal a section of Moonlight Road at the Hillsdale water treatment plant.
• authorized the mayor to execute an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation to construct improvements for the Moonlight Safe Routes to Schools project.