Brandon Peoples and Sam Hennigh contributed to this story
Gas prices are no doubt causing adjustments in personal budgets, but what about local governments?
Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr says they fully expect inflation and record-high fuel costs to create challenges in developing next year’s budget. As for any adjustments in the current operating budget, Fehr says the city has been fortunate to grow its reserves over the last couple years, and is seeing to-date sales tax revenues coming in higher than expected.
Fehr says supply chain issues are also causing challenges at the city’s water treatment plant and in some cases the substitute additives in stock are also rapidly gaining in costs.
As inflation continues, city officials will be keeping a close eye on how it will impact spending habits and ultimately sales tax revenues. That data lags two months behind, meaning June revenues won’t be reflected until the end of August report.
In Pottawatomie County Monday, County Sanitarian Scott Schwinn noted through April at the landfill, the county has paid over $7,300 in fuel surcharges for transfer waste. With an estimated $24,000 anticipated in total year-end fuel surcharges for tonage, Schwinn came to the commission with a request for a $2.50 mid-year increase on what’s collected.
The increased fuel charges are impacting revenues and could cause issues with budgeting for 2023. Schwinn noted the budget is in good shape due to the department currently being short a contracted hauler. Commissioners agreed to take no action Monday. Commissioner Greg Riat explains why.
The City of Manhattan’s May sales tax report, reflecting March revenues is available below.
In Riley County Monday, commissioners heard an update from Treasurer Shilo Heger regarding budgetary strains facing her office.
Heger was requesting a transfer of $300,000 from the motor vehicle fund to offset costs from salaries. Without it, Heger said, she would not be able to fund general office expenditures in 2023.
Heger was proposing the transfer at the end of this year, with a payback transfer sometime next summer, in an effort to keep the department from having negative revenue during that time.
When asked about what direction to take, Commissioner John Ford suggested waiting until the county has received all official numbers.
No action was taken on any budget requests during Monday’s meeting. Commissioner Ford and Commission Chair Greg McKinley agreed taking this process made the most sense.