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Missoula City Council approves amendments to FY21 budget as new season nears

Missoula City Council
Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 17:28:39-04

MISSOULA — The City of Missoula’s Fiscal Year 21 budget got a mild makeover on Monday night to account for revenue and expenses not included in the original budget, including money allocated to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The city generally adopts its budget by the end of August of each year. But over time, adjustments are required to account for grant revenues, expenses and projects that carry over from one year to the next.

“These things happen throughout the year,” said Leigh Griffing, the city’s financial director. “A lot of times these are accounting items that come forward.”

Amendments approved on Monday include roughly $260,000 to improve facilities for the Missoula Police Department and $36,000 in equipment for Parks and Recreation.

They also include $750,000 for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The city allocated that amount during last year’s budgeting process to serve as seed funding for the newly created fund.

“The Affordable Housing Trust Fund was approved in the FY 21 budget,” said Griffing. “We’ve subsequently created new accounting for this and a new fund for this.”

The last amendment approved by the council includes around $150,000 from the stormwater utility. Griffing said the amendment captures capital improvements happening within the utility across the city.

“We’re backing off some items approved in the FY21 budget and bringing forward FY 20 projects that haven’t been completed,” Griffing said. “Those net out to an increase of $150,000, and we’ll be securing debt financing for some of those projects.”

Truing up the FY21 budget also includes several items carried forward from the prior fiscal year. Items on the list include the Mullan Area Master Plan, street repairs, a pet memorial and software updates.

“These are items approved in the FY20 budget and are in process but didn’t get captured as a carry forward in the FY21 budget,” Griffing said. “These are items that have contracts entered into. The fund balance is the revenue source for many of these items.”

The items carried forward represent a revenue increase of $1.7 million and $2.2 million in increased expenses, according to the city.