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City Ends 2013 With $10 Million Surplus


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City Ends 2013 With $10 Million Surplus

By Josh Egbert. CREATED Feb 21, 2014

Omaha, NE- From a deficit, to a surplus. Mayor Jean Stothert said it's happening with Omaha's city budget. That, despite a new financial report that shows the city's fire department is going over budget.

It was projected when the Mayor took office in June that the city would have a $13 million shortfall. Fast forward six month, the city now is in the black.

Mayor Stothert had her work cut out for her when she became mayor. The city was facing a major money crisis.

"I knew right at that time that we had a lot of work to do because we had to close out the year with a balanced budget." said Mayor Stothert.

The Mayor made it her goal to avoid that. A goal she not only accomplished, but succeeded in.

"It was very difficult it wasn't easy it's a combination of increased revenue and decreased expenses and the decreased expenses was difficult." Said Mayor Stothert.

All city departments met their 2010 budget, except for one. The fire department, which wasn't expected to met their budget to begin with.

"The fire was still around $6 million over budget, but with the money that we transferred over from Contingent Liability Fund that bring then down to $0.9 million over budget." Said Mayor Stothert.

The Mayor says the department's interim fire chief made cuts that eased some of the deficit.

"There was a lot of call back times with the interim fire chief that we have in now he has already implemented quit a few cost savings measures." said the Mayor.

Steven Curtis, the city's Finance Director, says they will monitor the 2014 budget to make sure the budget stays on track.

"We'll continue to look at expenses, contracts, the revenue sources, property tax values, things that we've tiffed and we'll continue to monitor that." said Curtis.

That $10 million surplus will be carried forward into the 2015 budget. By City Charter, it cannot be used in the 2014 budget since that budget has already been approved by the City Council.