News release from the City of Fort Wayne, datedÂ August 4, 2011 – see the webmaster’s note at the end of this post:
Mayor Henry erases garbage cart debt, boosts savings for residents
Efficient, under-budget garbage program prompts $100,000 early-payoff gain
(August 4, 2011) – Driving home his pledge to do more with less, Mayor Tom Henry today piled up more savings for residents with the news that surplus funds in the City of Fort Wayne’s solid-waste account will be used for an early payoff of its garbage-cart lease. By paying ahead of schedule and erasing the debt, the City will save approximately $100,000 in future interest payments.
“Just as the City keeps coming in under budget, our garbage program has also come in under budget for several years,” said Mayor Henry. “The surplus funds in our garbage account mean we can eliminate our garbage-cart debt and save about $100,000 in interest costs. By paying down our lease early, we’re saving money, reducing future expenses, and making our City more efficient and effective. That’s what I call making your money work for you.”
The City is able to pay off this lease completely thanks to a $3.6 million balance in its garbage account, of which $1.6 million will be used for the debt eradication. This surplus exists because the solid-waste program has come in under budget for the past several years. After the lease is paid off, the account will demonstrate a healthy $2 million in reserve funds.
The City policy is to maintain approximately two-and-a-half months of operating expenses. This amount is a generally accepted safety net to deal with unforeseen solid-waste cleanup costs caused by such things as floods, storms or other natural disasters. By law, funds within the solid-waste department must stay within that department and cannot be used for other expenses in other City departments.
“Our solid-waste program continues to be a tremendous success,” added Mayor Henry. “It is a prime example of how our City is doing more with less while continuing to provide the high-quality services residents expect, even in these difficult economic times.”
The lease, which began in 2005, was originally scheduled to be paid off by 2015. Mayor Henry has already directed City Controller Pat Roller to make the necessary arrangements to pay the remaining balance of the lease.
This latest announcement comes one week after Mayor Henry proposed a $1 million garbage-rate cut for residents. That rate cut was prompted when a review of the City’s garbage and recycling program showed a projected savings of $1 million this year. It was the second rate cut in less than a year. These rate decreases are separate from the $1.6 million to pay off the 2005 garbage-cart lease.
Webmaster’s note I have several news releases from various organizations sitting in my inbox. Part of the mission of this blog is to keep a historic running record of the goings on in Fort Wayne. To that end, even though they are out of date, I am including this older news release.