I t is budget season. For the next couple of months you will be seeing items pertaining to the next city budget. With that in mind, I thought I would take this time to give a brief and basic description of the city’s accounting. Basically, the city has three major funds: the general fund, the utility fund and special projects. The general fund and the utility fund fall under operation and maintenance. The general fund is funded by sales tax, property tax, permits and fees. About half of what the general fund pays for makes no money, nada. A couple of the examples are parks and roads. Although these items don’t directly generate money, they do add to our quality of life and have an intrinsic value. The utilities fund is made up of water and wastewater and it’s funded by the services it provides. The utility fund pays for the maintenance, repair, operation and upkeep of water and wastewater. Special projects fund is for money received through bonds and grants for specific projects. Bonds can have broader use whereas grants can be more specific. Once money is assigned to a fund that’s where it stays. I think how the general fund and utility fund operate are fairly straightforward. Here’s an example of something that came out of the special project fund. Safer Routes to School, SRTS, is a program that promotes walking and exercise. If you haven’t noticed, there has been construction on new sidewalks in Pleasanton. The money for the sidewalks was obtained through a grant from Texas Department of Transportation and can only be used for this particular improvement. The initiative it promotes is to connect children to school(s) through improvements in infrastructure that allow them safe passages and promote health. If you would like to read more on SRTS visit, /www.transportation.gov/mission/ health/Safe-Routesto School-Programs.
I hope this brief description helps with an understanding of how the city accounts for the money it spends and recieves. Keep looking for agenda items about the budget. Stay informed and get involved.
CLINTON POWELL is the Mayor of Pleasanton. You may reach him at mayor@ pleasantontx.gov.