HOP CITY COUNCIL PHOTO 1

Community members listen as Hopkinsville Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin gives the city council details on the city’s surplus budget from the fiscal year 2020-21.

Hopkinsville Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin presented the fiscal year 2020-21 budget review to the City Council as they met for their July meeting.

Donning his green money-print bowtie, signifying the city had a surplus budget according to Martin, he told the council that 5.43% of the budget went unspent.

He also expressed to the council that the budget surpassed his expectations considering the pandemic shutdowns.

Hopkinsville ends the fiscal year with $12.1 million in their available cash balance in the general fund.

“At this time last year, it was $8,317,000. So, we have done well,” Martin said.

Martin also said that the city collected 101.93% of their budgeted revenue.

Discussing payroll taxes, Martin said this year had been better than he expected. He added that the payroll taxes were lower than he had initially projected for the fiscal year but had a strong enough bounce towards the end of the year to keep the city on track with the previous year.

“May and June payroll taxes were strong enough that it pushed us over the prior year collections. Prior year collections was $16,466,000. So, we were about $170,000 more collections that what we were in the prior year.”

Shortages in the Fort Campbell Contracts Revenue, Recreation Program income, Planters Bank-Jennie Stuart Sportsplex income, PILOTS (HWEA and Solid Waste) and interest income were major contributors to the general fund revenue, Martin explained.

From the previous fiscal year, Martin said there was $382,049 from prior year encumbrances. From the prior year encumbrances, $58,588 was the amount unspent as of June 30, 2021, which Martin said he only reports once a year.

The Municipal Road fund, which the council has heard a lot about through the fiscal year, has a surplus balance of roughly $10,000.

He also added that a large part of the COVID-19 relief funding also remains unspent.

The council has proposed various ways to spend the funding including giving a portion to the Downtown REZ in previous meetings.

Martin also told the council that he will reappear in front of the council with recommendations for ideas of where the COVID-19 Relief Fund should be spent.

In other meeting news, Hopkinsville Mayor Wendell Lynch continued his celebration of Hopkinsville making it into the top 10 finalist for the T-Mobile “Hometown Techover”.

All 10 finalists will receive a $50,000 check to get started on city revamping projects.

Council also heard the second reading of the closure of East 11th Street between South Main and South Virginia Streets.

Councilmembers unanimously approved the partial street closure. They have not discussed or brought forth motions on how the closed street will be moved into private property.

Chico Ware, a resident of Hopkinsville, also addressed the council during the public comment section.

Ware told the council that it is their responsibility to protect the public when it comes to street speeds.

He said that someone could be killed as people race through the streets. Ware called upon the council to take action and make sure people are safe.

Hopkinsville City Council will meet Thursday night at 6 p.m. for July’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

The meeting will also be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page for those who do not want to attend in person.

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