BY C.L. HARMON
Washed away in the rushing waters of Keystone Dam are waves of lost revenue floating down stream to not be seen again in the fiscal year drawing to a close at June’s end.
The heavy rains that plagued the area this spring have also caused what will certainly be a decline in sales tax, according to Nunneley. He stressed the fact that this money is “gone”.
“We will never get that money back! Once the sales tax and the camp fees that are projected don’t come in, they’re gone. People are not going to spend twice as much in August and make up for what was not spent in June and July. This is the real problem for us and for the businesses right now,” Nunneley said.
“When a business takes in 60-70 percent of their revenue in a five month window and then 30-40 percent in a seven month window and then lose a month or two of revenue of those months, they don’t get that back. In turn, the city does not get its sales tax back either. This fiscal year will end on a horrible note,” he said. Within the fiscal budget there is a margin which is basically a profit for the city if all the projections made from the budget are close to actual revenues and expenditures of the year. Unfortunately, a city cannot predict a flood in an upcoming year and so the losses caused as a result will reflect a “horrible end of the year” as Nunneley stated.
It’s not only in sales tax and park revenues that the city is losing either, according to Nunneley. He explained that utility usage is also down. With cool and rainy weather, there has been very little electricity sold and with the rain there has been no one filling up swimming pools or watering lawns. He emphasized that overhead is the same as the city is still taking care of the municipal needs, paying employees, etc, even though revenues continue to decline.
Nunneley did not sound hopeful for the July 4th holiday either.
“It’s not looking good right now unless we get a bunch of water out of here in the next couple of weeks…and there is still a hurricane on the way. So there’s a real good chance we could be close on that. We only have three lake holiday; one we flooded and the next one is looking pretty tough right now,” he said. With the city only receiving 3.5 cents out of every dollar generated and it is down, those business are down a huge percent,” he stressed. This is just like a winter month, he added.
We invite area businesses to visit out website and comment through this story, how the flood has affected them.
There is, however, some good news.“Running the city of Mannford for the upcoming fiscal year will cost $13.6 million, an increase from $8.6 million last year, according to the new budget approved by City Council members at their recent June board meeting.
Town Administrator Mike Nunneley explained in his proposal that the change comes from an increase of $4.7 million in revenue and expenditures for the new senior housing project. He further explained that are “very few changes” other than this to last year’s budget proposal.
As for revenue increases, Nunneley wrote in the proposal that