River Falls has $250K in coffers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finances are looking up for the town of River Falls.

In fact, the town has more than a quarter of a million dollars in its accounts.

According to financial statements presented at this month’s meeting, the town has:

• $20,104 in its water system’s primary account.

• The water system bond fund has $17,335,

• $29,040 in its water system reserves;

• $11,659 in its water replacement fund;

• $18,268 in its capital improvement fund;

• $100,112 in its 7 and 2 cent gas tax fund;

• $3,980 in the 4, 5, and 6 cent gas tax fund;

• $96,366 in the general fund.

• The Town of River Falls Police Department has $17,673 in its account;

• the judicial administration account has $5,247; and

• municipal court fund has $47,034.

Mayor Patricia Gunter said this is a stark improvement over how things were when the new administration took over nearly two years ago.

In November 2012, the town council learned that the town owed $40,00 in past due bills, had a $29,000 loan payment due and hadn’t had any liability insurance on any city property – including its police cars – since 2007.

Additionally, the town only had $12,000 to its name.

Gunter and Mayor Pro Tem Mattie Freeney said Tuesday that the council has aligned the finances and the town’s structure according to the rules and regulations of the state.

“We are doing everything by the book.” Freeney said. “One thing we are doing is getting the debt paid and getting our water system online.”

Gunter said collecting business licenses and water bills has been a key to improving the town’s finances.

“We are just doing what was already on the books,” she said. “We are waiting on our first audit.”

Freeney said one huge factor is that the council is working together.

“We are being proactive,” she said. “I want everyone to know that we are working together for the betterment of River Falls.”

One of the things the mayor and council has done is to make multiple accounts, where there were previously only a two – the general fund and the water account.

“We found out we were supposed to have more than one water account,” Gunter said. “We are required to put x-amount of dollars into the accounts to help pay for things for our water system.”

Gunter said that previously, the town had not made concessions for maintenance such as painting the town’s water tank, but has since worked to establish an account for that purpose.

“Our general fund was building up,” she said. “We checked to see if it was OK for us to put some money from the general fund into the water account for when we needed to pay for our water tank. And we were told that was OK.”

Gunter said that should the water system get enough money, it could repay the general fund.

Gunter said the town put more than $25,000 in the water fund.

“Last year, we were still kind of holding our breaths,” she said. “I think that now we are certainly where we should be. We feel like we can breathe better.”