City Ends 2016 With Financial Surplus

For the first time since 2010, the city was in the black financially at the end of 2016.

On Monday, Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, delivered the 2016 year-end financial summary report to Jamestown City Council. Bellitto said last year’s revenues exceeded expenditures by $96,637.

The city received .53 percent more revenues than originally budgeted. Bellitto said most of this revenue surplus came in the form of Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funding, with the state giving the city an additional $204,000 for the PAVE NY program.

In 2016, expenditures were .93 percent under budget, Bellitto said. The city was under budget by $548,518 in benefits last year. Bellitto said the city was under budget by $262,000 for health insurance and $255,000 for state retirement system payment.

”The big savings was in benefits, which has haunted us in the past few years,” Bellitto said.

Bellitto said the city has $854,340 in unassigned fund balance, which is a modest amount. He said ideally they would like to have $3 to 4 million.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, thanked the staff for their hard work to stay under budget. However, he said luck was also involved in last year’s financial surplus. He said city officials should continue to hope for three things for financial success in 2017. One would be for an on-time state budget that includes Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $1 million for the city government. In January, Cuomo announced $2.5 million in funding for the city in his 2017-18 budget proposal, with $1 million going toward Jamestown government efficiency initiatives.

Teresi said the second item for city officials to hope for is a good economy, which means more sales tax revenues and, if the stock market is up, a lower state retirement fund payment. He said the third item to hope for is for all city employees, dependents, and retirees to have good health, which equates to lower health insurance costs in 2017.