A special fund the city created in July to make up for lost revenue during the economic downtown was intended to last two-and-a-half years, but an unexpected decline in several revenue sources may completely tap the fund a year early.
City Finance Director Chris Lyons said he anticipated using $1.3 million from the $2.9 million Budget Stabilization Fund this fiscal year. He revealed last week that the city might need to use double that amount to shore up a shortfall in four revenue streams: half-cent sales tax, state revenue sharing, investment earnings and electric franchise fee (see box).
“It’s not possible that the $2.9 million will last two-and-a-half years,” Lyons said.
City Manager Bob Bartolotta anticipates the stabilization fund will run out of money by January 2010.
“We’ll be without a safety net then,” Bartolotta said.
But Lyons said he’s not worried about the financial situation when the fund runs dry, because the city maintains a $15 million balance in its general fund reserves, which go to such things as payroll and utilities.
“It’s not that risky,” Lyons said. “We still have a pretty sizable (general) fund balance.”
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24 Sarasota Pumpkin Festival
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School of rock
Fans cheered on their favorite bands Saturday at Rock for a Cause.