(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The City of Lawrenceburg has passed balanced 2013 Riverboat Fund and Municipal Development Fund budgets.
Mayor Dennis Carr signed the budgets following two unanimous council votes Monday evening. The former councilman said in a press release that it is the first time that he can recall balanced MDF and Riverboat budgets being proposed and approved.
The Riverboat and MDF funds are supported by the city’s development agreement with Hollywood Casino owner Penn National Gaming. Nearly $43 million in revenue is projected from the boat in 2013.
The Riverboat budget ordinance calls for $20.3 million in spending. The largest items in the budget are $1.5 million for city street improvements and $1.2 million for unfinished projects.
The MDF budget rings in at $21.8 million. The figure includes $10 million for the city’s 10 County Economic Development Grants program, $2.45 million to grant towards and sewer project, and $2 million for the annual grants to Dearborn County school districts.
Some additional appropriations could still be made, said Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Stutz.
The budgets were formulated by the mayor staff, the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, and City Council. Carr said they take into consideration the on-going maintenance needs, capital infrastructure projects, existing contracted work from 2012, and a new labor agreement.
The mayor said the need to balance the two budgets was forced by the shrinking revenues at the riverboat.
“Their numbers are down considerably and with the Cincinnati gaming business coming on line, there is a strong possibility that there will be an even greater reduction in our local revenues from gaming,” Carr said.
“With this in mind, we, as a city, need to prepare ourselves to meet this challenge by looking at our costs and making reductions wherever possible, while maintaining the city’s services to our residents.”
Carr asked that groups who ask for or depend on funding from Lawrenceburg begin reviewing their own costs to meet the reductions of the future.
In late December, the city’s general fund budget, which includes property tax revenue but not gaming revenue, was approved. Carr had vetoed council’s budget proposal, causing the city’s 2013 budget to revert to the 2012 spending plan.
The vetoed general fund budget was supported by council members Doug Taylor, Mike Lawrence, and Jane Pope, but opposed by Bill-Bill Bruner and Aaron Cook.
Unlike the general fund budget, state law does not require the city to balance its MDF and Riverboat budgets.