Council votes to use excess funds to pay down debt, save for future projectsRosemount had a $548,000 surplus in 2011. On March 6 the council decided to pay off debt from the Dakota Communications Center and assigned money to be used for future building projects. Additionally the council put aside money to be used for future health insurance costs.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The city of Rosemount had a surplus in 2011. In fact, the city had an excess of more than $548,000. On March 6 the city council decided what to do with that money.
The council passed a resolution that distributed the funds in three ways. First, the city will use $60,000 to pay off its part of the debt for the Dakota Communications Center. Paying off the debt will put the city in a good place when the council creates the 2013 budget.
“Right off the bat you are looking at a $60,000 reduction in the levy for 2013,” said Jeff May, the city’s finance director.
Second, the council voted to assign $262,500 to the city’s building capital improvement plan fund. The purpose is to put money aside for future building projects such as improving public amenities, paving Brazil Avenue and improving the Erickson Park shelter, among other things.
Lastly, the council assigned $225,000 to the general fund to be used for future health insurance costs. City administrator Dwight Johnson said insurance costs over the last few years have been volatile. The city is required to submit its preliminary budget to Dakota County by September. It usually gets insurance costs for the next year in October. When creating the budget, the council has had to play a guessing game.
In 2010, the city’s insurance rates went up by 18 percent. The council had not anticipated that large an increase and had to adjust other things in the budget to compensate.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, in 2011 the city anticipated a 20 percent increase when budgeting but the increase came back at 5 percent.
By setting the money aside, Johnson said, the council will be able to mitigate some of the ups and downs it has experienced over the past few years.
“If we have a troublesome year, it won’t break the bank,” Johnson said in an interview.
During the meeting council member Matt Kearney asked if the money could be reassigned at a later date if the council thought it was necessary and staff said yes.
The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.