continued While all of the information had been available to the public prior to the transparency link (via a 200-plus page document of the budget),Madigan felt the benefit of residents to be able to access the information online was important.
One of the last issues addressed at the meeting was the surplus.
“Every year…we determine whether we’re going to have a deficiency or a surplus. There have been times … where we’ve had a deficiency. At this point in time…we actually have a surplus,” said Madigan.
She emphasized that this is “not found money.”
An internal city policy dictates the unassigned fund balance should be between 10 and 12.5 percent of the budget. The unassigned fund balance stands at about $6.2 million, an increase of about $2 million over2010. That reflects a 2011 operating surplus of $3.5 million, of which $1.55million was restricted, or assigned. The $1.55 million figure will need to be audited before any spending plans can be finalized.
Madigan expects the number to be finalized in August and her recommendations on how it will be spent will be made public sometime in September. How to spend the money will likely play a significant role in the budgeting process.
More information on meetings and public hearings concerning the budget are posted on saratoga-springs.org