Financial report says Knox is gaining money …

… though through careful spending and measuring of funds, as noted in the CAFR for the 2012-13 budget year.

Want a nap? Check it out here.

“It’s really a great document – if it doesn’t put you to sleep.” – Chris Caldwell, Knox County Finance Director.

In all seriousness, there’s some good information in there. This rundown of all the budget stuff Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett has done was pretty interesting. And the reporter in me wonders if ALL of these things were done by him specifically or under his tenure or carried over from previous administrations. It’s a big list, but he has been in office for nearly a full term at this point and so it could be all his doing:

• General Fund balance has increased by $15.7 million from the beginning of FY 2011 to
the FY 2013 end of year.
• Restored 177 hours of operation per week within our public library system with no
additional impact on the budget.
• Increased purchasing transparency by implementing first-in-the-state online, searchable
databases for E-commerce card and purchase order transactions.
• Ensured more than $2 million in savings over four years by utilizing public-private
partnerships to provide pediatric care, as well as translation services for Knox County
Health Department clients.
Board of County Commissioners
and the Citizens of Knox County, Tennessee
• Implemented mileage reimbursement at the standard federal rate in lieu of monthly travel
allowances, which saved approximately $78,000 annually.
• Sold unnecessary county vehicles, resulting in thousands of dollars in cost-avoidance
savings through reduced maintenance, fuel and liability costs.
• Reduced the mayor’s office administrative budget by more than 19 percent.
• Began the process of reducing Knox County’s debt obligations by $20 million annually
over five years, for a total projected debt reduction of more than $100 million.
• Identified a funding mechanism to use one-time dollars to pay for the construction of a
new Carter Elementary School, therefore eliminating a potential $8 million in traditional
bond interest payments. The school opened on time for the 2013-2014 school year.
• Sold the Solway greenwaste facility property for $2 million; prior to the sale, the upkeep
on the property cost taxpayers an average of $245,000 annually.
• Engaged a committee of private sector experts to help advise Mayor Burchett on how to
address the growing cost of employee health benefits in an attempt to bring those benefits
more in-line with the private market; many of the committee’s suggestions were
implemented and the changes resulted in projected savings of $1.7 million.
• Provided, from a combination of revenue increases and sustainable savings, 3 percent
employee pay increase, beginning January 1, 2012.
• Supported the Halls and Northeast Knox greenway projects, as well as the Knox-Blount
greenway project.
• Moved forward with Clayton Park and Plumb Creek Park projects.
• Constructed and opened the Concord “Pet Safe” Dog Park.
• Restored the stream bank along Beaver Creek at Halls Community Park.
• Made parking improvements at the Knox County Sports Park.
• Saved the building that formerly was used for the Oakwood Elementary School. The
condition of the building had deteriorated, and its future was uncertain. The County
worked with developers and others in the private sector to make needed upgrades and
repairs to the facility, which will be used for senior housing. This will provide for
additional services to the community and place the property back on the County tax roll.

About Gerald

A reporter in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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