The Moore American

Local News

December 4, 2013

Water bailout boosts deficit

MOORE — The Moore City Council approved an $820,000 budget adjustment Monday to help cover water service because of lost revenue resulting from the May 20 tornado.

The budget adjustment will allow the Moore Public Works Authority to retain money normally transferred to the general fund and the Moore Risk Management fund for two months.

Finance Director Jim Corbett said both funds were healthy enough to lose that funding for a temporary period.

Approximately 1,200 water meters serving homes and businesses were lost when the tornado wiped out a core section of the city. Water, sewer and sanitation revenues are affected. Until that area rebuilds and those customers are back online, utility revenue is taking a major hit.

Previously, the public works authority had been used to plump up the general revenue fund. Now, a healthy general fund can boost the public works trust.

“The general fund is in the best condition it has been in years due to the sales tax growth and the half-cent designated sales tax,” Corbett said.

The half-cent tax covers residential street improvements and public safety equipment. Previously, the general fund had to pay for those items.

The year-to-date deficit in the MPWA trust is $1.7 million, with a debt service on the water treatment plant of $1.8 million due in March, Corbett said.

“We have $1.1 million in excess set up in the treatment plant construction account,” Corbett said. That money will pay the bulk of the debt service, but help is needed to fund the rest.

The budget adjustment was unanimously approved.

In other city business, the city council postponed three items dealing with zoning change request that would allow a multi-family senior residential development in Ward 1 in the area of Southeast Fourth Street and Eastern Avenue.

Residents have expressed concerns about the increase in density near a residential development and increased traffic that the proposed Eastern Senior Community would bring to the area. Moore notified 625 properties within a quarter mile of the proposed planned unit development about the zoning change request.

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