Youngstown’s general fund on target through the first six months of the year
By David Skolnick
Through the first six months of the year, the city has spent 49.3 percent of the general fund’s budgeted amount for 2018.
Kyle Miasek, interim finance director, gave a report Monday to city council’s finance committee about Youngstown’s finances.
“We are hovering around 50 percent after six months,” he said. “We are pretty much on target. We are doing really well with controlling spending. We’re not going to have a great positive balance but it won’t be negative.”
The city was able to balance its 2018 budget with a $12,000 expected surplus after initially having a projected $2.3 million deficit. City officials made a number of cuts and used one-time revenues to largely make up the shortfall.
However, a financial expert hired by the city administration projects a $16 million deficit by 2023 if the city doesn’t make changes to its financial situation including a $2.22 million deficit by the end of 2019.
City officials are working with employees on potential financial changes including increasing the employees’ contribution to health insurance premiums from its current 10 percent amount though nothing has been resolved yet.
Of the $33.1 million in the 2018 general-fund budget, about $16.8 million remained as of June 30, according to Miasek’s report.
“Our revenues are on target,” he said. “It’s important that we keep ourselves balanced through the rest of the year. We’re living within our means. Revenues aren’t strong, but they’re on target with what we expected for the year. We need to find ways to save money or generate revenues in order to avoid deficits in future years. How we end this year will set us up for what we’ll do with the budget next year. Right now, we’re in a good place.”
But if revenues start to slow down in the second half of this year, the city will have to reduce its expenditures, Miasek said.
“The departments have been living within their means,” he said.
Councilwoman Lauren McNally, D-5th and finance committee chairwoman, said: “It’s great to hear we’re on target. We’re going to get through this year. The concern is subsequent years. [Miasek] is confident about next year’s budget as long as we continue on the same path we’ve taken for the first six months. But a lot can happen.”