Jefferson City Parks fund balance ‘healthy’ after audit

The Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department has more than $6.5 million in reserve funds after the completion of the city’s audit for the last fiscal year.

At the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Wednesday, department director Bill Lockwood said the auditors have signed off on the department’s numbers for the last fiscal year. The department keeps a 12 percent reserve fund, though much of that is in restricted money. More than $4 million of the department’s reserves is classified as restricted, meaning it is already marked for a specific purpose, such as capital projects or vehicle replacement.

The department has more than $1.6 million in unrestricted fund balance, though Lockwood noted that the commission has set aside $1.3 million of that fund to help pay for the proposed multipurpose building, which is estimated to cost about $6 million.

“Overall, we’re in a good, healthy position with our 12 percent reserve,” Lockwood said. “I think we’re in about as good condition as you could anticipate being in.”

Lockwood said the latest sales tax figures have the department a little bit behind where it was at this time last year. He said if that trend of coming up slightly short continues, sales tax revenues could come in about $30,000 short of projections. He added that those numbers have been fluctuating throughout the year and any estimates still could be met.

“We’re going to continue watching that closely, month by month,” Lockwood said.

In other business, Lockwood said the department will receive more than $33,000 from the Missouri Department of Transportation in refund revenue. The funds are being refunded from the city’s share of costs to construct the pedestrian/bicycle lane on the Missouri River Bridge because of lower than anticipated costs.

Lockwood said the money would be appropriated to other greenway improvements.

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