Hopkinsville City Council unanimously approved on second reading changing the name of the Human Relations Commission to the Human Rights Commission to be in line with the state statute.

Before that, however, the council heard from Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin about the city budget showing a deficit for the first month of fiscal year 2019-20.

Martin reported that the general fund shows $827,215 in deficit due to $620,809 in encumbrance and over $3.5 million in actual expenses last month.

Martin explained that the city pays for some big-ticket items at the beginning of each fiscal year, causing the budget to reflect a deficit. Some of those July bills include property and liability insurance at $425,000, workers compensation insurance at $232,000, bond payments of $390,000 and a $50,000 payment to the Property Value Administrator's Office for the tax roll to prepare property tax bills, which will be mailed to residents in October.

"As most of you are aware, the months of July, August and September are going to show a deficit until the property tax revenue starts coming in for the month of October," Martin said.

The capital fund is also $440,371 in the red because it isn't showing any revenue for the new fiscal year and it carried over more than $400,000 in encumbrance from the prior year, according to the report.

Martin said transfers from the general fund, such as one-third of the insurance premium tax, WINS insurance premium tax and the sale of surplus property, will likely happen in September to balance the capital fund.

"Of course this will turn around as we receive transfers into the general fund throughout the year," he said. "It's just that departments like to buy all of their capital items at the beginning of the year, and I don't blame them."

The payroll tax, which is one of the city's largest revenue sources, is showing a decrease of 7.5% in revenue from the previous year, which is about $119,000 below what was collected this time last year, Martin said.

However, he pointed out that payroll tax collections in June were slightly higher this year compared to June 2018.

"If we add the month of June to the month of July and compare that to the same time last year in June and July 2018, we are slightly ahead," he said.

There is also a small surplus of $2,391 in municipal road aid funds so far.

Overall, about 22.6% of the operating budget for fiscal year 19-20 is available, and Martin said that should go back up once property taxes begin to get collected.

In other business:

  • The council approved a memorandum of understanding with Christian Fiscal Court to apply for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which helps fund Christian County Juvenile Drug Court.
  • Mayor Carter Hendricks presented a proclamation, naming Aug. 20, 2019, Coach William Falls Day. Falls was recently inducted into the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Community Vision Plan Chair Taylor Hayes urged the council to get its constituents to take the survey at christiancountyvision.org.
  • Jonathan Eisenhauer, a local Jewish man, asked the city to consider taking ownership of the Jewish cemetery at the end of Hope Street.

Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or zalleyne@kentuckynewera.com.

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