After approving nearly $14.2 million in budget amendments, the city of Sherman closed out its fiscal year and set the stage for the new amendment to go into effect on Oct. 1.
“This is the annual clean-up budget amendment and it reflects the activity we have seen this year,” Sherman Finance Director Mary Lawrence said.
The new Sherman budget amendment reflects a $14.2 million increase in spending beyond what was initially budgeted earlier in the year. This was offset somewhat by about $11.1 million in additional revenue that was not initially foreseen.
“Council priorities change throughout the year and that can be both on the good and the bad side,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.
The majority of both the spending and income increase traces back to a $8.9 million bond issued earlier this year for the city’s portion of the Texas Department of Transportation’s “gap” project on U.S. Highway 75.
The project, which is slated to begin next year, will see the a four-mile stretch of the roadway from FM 1417 to State Highway 91 improved and brought up to modern interstate standards. County leaders coined the name of the project from the fact that the portion of road is the one section of U.S. 75 not at interstate standards in Texas.
A second section of the project will involve improvements to the approaches at the intersection of Hwy. 75 and Hwy. 82.
Of the bond funds, $8.1 million is slated to go toward a fund match with the transportation department.
In addition to the bond funds, the city saw another unforeseen windfall when sales tax revenues came in $735,000 higher than anticipated.
Other expenses for the city trace back to changes to the city’s demolitions program. The city has been able to increase the rate it tears down substandard structures to the point that it was more cost effective to purchase its own equipment and hire an in-house demolition team. In total, the hiring and equipment purchase cost about $500,000, Strauch said.
The city also saw an increase in its health insurance expenses. The amendment included $940,000 in additional expenses beyond what were originally budgeted. Strauch said this is a budget item that is historically hard to predict as health care demands are highly variable year-to-year.