Fayette County

Council approves recommendations for use of $9.3 million surplus

The Urban County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to set aside $3 million of a $9.3 million surplus for additional health insurance costs, possible legal bills and additional money for the city's "rainy day" fund.

Bill O'Mara, the city's finance commissioner, told the council during a special Budget and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday that he recommended that the council only spend $2.2 million of $6.3 million remaining in the surplus. The city would have $4.1 million in reserve to pay for unexpected costs, he told the council.

The surplus is from the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The council will decide how to spend the $2.2 million at a special meeting Nov. 13.

Vice Mayor Linda Gorton said that during discussions about the budget earlier this year, there were several ideas about what to do with any surplus money. That list, developed by council staff, will be discussed at the Nov. 13 meeting.

Given the limited amount of money, the meeting shouldn't take long, Gorton said.

The city's economic contingency, or rainy day, fund was $24.2 million. By city ordinance, about 25 percent of any surplus must go into the rainy day fund. The council decided to put $993,597, roughly 25 percent, into the fund Tuesday, bringing the city's rainy day fund to $25.2 million.

O'Mara also recommended that the council set aside additional money for lawsuits that aren't currently covered by the city's insurance policy and for additional costs for health insurance.

The council went briefly behind closed doors to discuss possible legal cases. Details of those legal actions were not disclosed Tuesday.

The council unanimously approved all of O'Mara's recommendations during Tuesday's council meeting. Much of the discussion and questions centered on calculations that O'Mara used to make his recommendations.