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Thursday, May 19, 2011 02:22 pm

FOR A RAINY DAY

Mayor Mike Houston rode to a decisive victory in the April 5 election on promises of getting the city back on track financially, and on May 18 he announced one of his first such initiatives: creating budget reserves within the city’s Corporate Fund. Think of them like savings accounts for each agency, which “will reduce funds which will be available for spending and will offer much greater control over the city’s operating budget,” according to a city press release. Though it’s unclear how much money will go into those reserves – thus reducing the amount available to spend this year – Houston says certain costs like pensions, debts and the library will be exempt, and he will announce the totals each month to the city council and the public. “The city will continue to monitor revenues closely,” Houston says.  “I believe the establishment of reserves will provide greatly enhanced management oversight of our city budget.  … While departmental reserves are expected to change as I identify my spending priorities, I intend to keep the overall level of cuts consistent across the Corporate Fund.”
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