February 2014 home page

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Careful Cash Counting
Tom McGreal | Stratford Court


City Hall Finance Department. Photo Shirley King. 
Click on image to enlarge.


As the community begins to respond to the City’s survey regarding a new City Hall / Civic Center, the City Council is also determining the best way to raise funds for the project and addressing the question of what we can afford.

The Council has asked the Finance Committee to make an assessment of Del Mar’s capacity to issue a long term bond to fund the development of a new City Hall. Fortunately, the City Staff has recently completed a thirty year budget forecast of revenues and expenses. This data will be needed to assess the debt service associated with a thirty-year bond. The City also maintains a ten-year rolling plan for capital improvement projects, which must also be included in determining the overall cash flow available for a bond.

The Finance Committee is working closely with the Staff to assemble a consolidated cash flow model that includes reasonably forecasted city revenues, operating expenses, capital improvement projects and the reserves needed to meet city policies like the Finnell plan, the annual operating contingency, and the new pension reserve fund.

This is a comprehensive look at our cash flow that will provide the Council with a valuable tool for evaluating the funding strategies. It also serves as an objective assessment by the Finance Committee of our debt capacity and ability to meet the debt obligations over a thirty-year period.

We all realize the City needs a new City Hall / Civic Center. Let’s also be sure we can afford it. The Finance Committee will be reporting back to the Council in the next few months.


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