City Ends 2016 with Increased Reserves
PIERRE, S.D. – During the 2016 fiscal year, the City of Pierre was able to cut costs and consequently grow its reserves by $1.5-million.
“This is a significant accomplishment,” said Leon Schochenmaier, City Administrator. “The 2011 Missouri River flood greatly diminished the city’s reserve fund. For the last five years, we have been working to rebuild it.”
Schochenmaier says that the flood response effort significantly diminished reserves. Funds were further depleted by flood recovery efforts like rebuilding infrastructure along the waterfront. Softening sales tax receipts have also made it more challenging for the reserve fund to rebound.
“Despite lower than projected sales tax receipts, the City Commission remained committed to rebuilding the reserve fund and challenged city employees to find cost cutting measures to help grow the account,” said Schochenmaier.
City staff answered that challenge by cutting expenses by more than $5-million last year. Twila Hight, City Finance Director, says that cuts certainly caused some discomfort.
“Prior to the cost-cutting challenge, our budget was already pretty slim,” said Hight. “Our staff did a fantastic job of finding low-cost and no-cost ways to meet needs.”
As a result of those cost-cutting measures, the City’s 2016 expenses came in at $2.3 million under revenues. This allowed the City to secure $1.5 million for the reserve fund and end the year with $6.6 million in reserves.
Schochenmaier says that the increase in reserves brings the city one step closer to the commission’s goal of an $8.6 million reserve fund.