Goshen council moves $500,000 from rainy day fund

Mayor says move will help ease hit on general fund operating balance.

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The City council did not have to take much action Tuesday, April 23, passing additional appropriations and approving an amendment to the Plymouth Avenue Economic Development Area (EDA).

Most of the discussion Tuesday evening centered on the issue of transferring $500,000 from the city’s rainy day fund to the general fund.

Mayor Allan Kauffman stated that according to projections based on historic expenditures and property tax collection, the city would end the year spending approximately $950,000 more than they would bring in. The money from the rainy day fund, he explained, would help to ease the year-end burden on the general fund.

Kauffman added that he would not come back to the council later in the year asking to transfer more from the rainy day fund, saying “I am willing to let the operating balance of the general fund take the rest of the hit.”

Council president Jim McKee said he was uncomfortable moving that amount of money from the rainy day fund, and proposed an amendment to reduce the amount to $150,000 with the understanding that Kauffman would likely come back to council later and request more be taken out.

McKee’s amendment did not receive any support, however, and the appropriation ordinance passed.

Councilman Brett Weddell cautioned that, if not all of the appropriation was spent by the end of the year, the city should be sure not to spend it needlessly.

The other appropriation that was passed as part of the ordinance was $80,000 for the fire department’s purchase of the property at 1201 College Ave. that will be used for future expansion.

The money had actually been appropriated in 2012, but an agreement could not be made with the property owner before the year ended, so the money was re-appropriated.

The amendment to the Plymouth Avenue EDA was created simply to add projects to the list of tasks to be completed in the already-established EDA.

The amendment specifically added water retention and drainage projects to the list of what needs to be done in the area.

The council also heard a presentation led by resident Gilberto Perez Jr., who has helped to spearhead an initiative between the Goshen Police Department and Latino congregations within the community to help foster understanding and trust between the two groups.

Representatives from the police department have recently made appearances at local Latino churches educating the congregants on how police work is done and why officers do what they do.

The initiative was started to ease concerns and correct misconceptions within the Latino community about the police department and police work.

Perez, Father Fernando Jimenez, Jose Gutierrez and Detective Mario Mora spoke about why they began the initiative and reported on how police and residents were interacting.

The final piece of business the council attended to was the nomination and subsequent appointment of Sandra McMasters to the Community Relations Commission.

McMasters will take the place of Miguel Millan, who recently had to resign from his post on the commission due to a conflict with work.

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