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City Council reviews revenues, expenses of Enterprise Funds

The Power and Water building on the corner of State Highway 10 and U.S. Hghway 71 will coming down as part of MnDOT's long-awaited Highway 10 project. Brian Hansel/Pioneer Journal

Wadena's City Council took a look at the revised proposed budget of their Enterprise and General Funds for Fiscal Year 2018 last Tuesday and found themselves with a surplus of $1,265,740.

The city council was greeted with anticipated revenues of $16,122,258 against operating expenses of $14,856,518 for 2018.

Enterprise Funds come from departments of the city government which raise revenue of their own - the Wellness Center, the Liquor Store, the Golf Course, the Electric and Water Department and the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Sewer and Wastewater Treatment Plant showed the largest anticipated deficit of $378,363.

"They don't get tax dollars, so the state has us classify them as enterprises," City Administrator Brad Swenson said of the Enterprise Fund Departments. "They're like an individual business versus a tax-funded operation."

Fiscal Year 2017 produced revenues of $14,408,258 and expenses of $14,087,285 for cozy surplus of $320,973.

Capital outlay for 2018 shows the city wrestling with a deficit of $946,760. Last year's capital outlay deficit stood at $793,182.

The capital expenses for 2018 are expected to be $2,212,500 - almost double what they were in 2017 when the city spent $1,114,155.

The Highway 10 project, which begins in 2018 with the removal of buildings within the city limits, will see the removal of the Electric Building on the corner of State Highway 10 and U.S. Highway 71. The city is constructing a $2.2 million building along County Highway 4 to replace it. The cost of covering that expense has sent the captial outlay of the Electric Fund from $491,505 to $1,298,000.

"A big change is in the electric fund, but a lot of that is because of the new building," Swenson pointed out, adding that the city had dipped into some of their reserves to cover that building expense.

The Wadena Liquor Store is expected to see an interruption of business in 2019 when reconstruction work on Highway 10 begins.

"In 2019 it will be challenging while they are under construction getting customers to the door. What I think MnDOT is going to try to do is try and do one side of the road at a time so traffic will still go through there but it will be funneled into one side or another, depending on what side they are working on. There will be times when it will be awfully hard to get to the store from Highway 10," Swenson said.

While the city has never considered a second liquor store site, they have talked about remodeling or building on or revising what they have on Highway 10.

"The location is awesome," Swenson aid.

Nevertheless, with the electric building coming down it has created some different opportunities and ideas have been kicked around.

The council looked at modest 2018 general fund increases in nine sections of city government - General Government, Planning and Zoning, Police, Street, Park and Recreation, Dutch Elm, Library, Airport and Development Authority. The Building Maintenance and Fire Department Funds showed small decreases from the 2017 General Fund.

"The council will actually consider adopting these in December at the council meeting, so this is the process to get them educated on the budgets and what is being proposed, so in December it will come before them to actually adopt them with any changes that could happen between now and then," Swenson said. "It's a process we do every year, and it's a good process. It gives them a chance to share their feelings before we finalize it."