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Reserves used to make town budget work

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Loomis Town Council has approved a budget for fiscal year 2010-11 that uses $250,000 of reserves to make ends meet. Vic Markey, of Loomis, questioned the council during the final budget session on June 29. “Can the town sustain itself for five years by living off its reserves?” Markey asked. The 2010-11 fiscal year marks the second year in a row that the town has chosen to dip into reserves to make up for dwindling revenues, but $4.5 million in reserves still remains. According to Roger Carroll, town finance director, during the 2009-10 fiscal year approximately $325,000 was budgeted from reserves. He said all of the budgeted reserves may not be used, but he won’t know until the books are closed out. “It’s really too early to say for sure,” Carroll said. Councilman Walt Scherer pointed out that when the economy was strong, the town added from $108,000 to almost $900,000 a year to its reserves. “Spending a little more than we’re bringing in doesn’t justify a panic. We can go on for many, many years on the reserves we built up,” said Scherer. “I’m pretty content about where we are. We’re operating in a conservative manner.” Carroll said the total budget for the coming fiscal year, which began July 1, is $2,828,450. Reserves in the amount of $250,000 will be used to balance the budget. Scherer was attending his first council meeting since undergoing surgery for colon cancer in early June. He said he will begin chemotherapy after his recuperation from the surgery is complete.