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City Does Not Need $25,000 To Pay Warrants Due July 1

City Does Not Need $25,000 To Pay Warrants Due July 1 image
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The Argus was deprived by what looks to it as a prearranged plan froni the privilege of oprinting Tuesday Mr. Soyler's report on city flnances which so fully sustained everytliing that the Argus has claimed. In the kght of the use which luis been made ♦f this report it is probable that it was iesired to have 24 hours start in an effort to créate the lmpression that the report ineant something it does not ■ïean. There has aiso been a laborious ffort to drag politics into a discussion f city finalices, when there is absolutely no politics ir such a discussion. Mr. Seyler's report is given by the Argus today in full. THE ARGUS CORRECT. It will be noticed by comparing it i with the Argus of last Thursday that it follows closely a long the lines of j that article. Mr. Seyler says the ; treasurer makés three reporta to the eommon council ander the heads of city funds, sewer funds and pavement fuuds and each report has its balauce. ! He gives the same figures as the Argus did and shows how $30,189.55 for the State street paving was paid for out : f the "city funds" and the money ïealized from the sale of bonds was put to the credit of the paving fund, tlius making a ehortage in the city funds of over $30,000. While tliis money was safe in the bank, the official reports showed an apparent big verdraft in the city funds which was fceing used as a lx; sis to secure a big issue of bonds to run against the city f Ann Arbor. Mr. Seyler next found it was truc. as stated in the Argus. that the Ann street paving had been jiaid for out of the State street paving fund. He next flnds, as the Argus stated, that the Main sewer fund belonged to the whole city to pay, which praetically means that it should be elassed as a city fund and not put in with the district sewer funds which do ■ot belong to the whole city to pay. He then linds, as the Argus int'u light be found on investlgation, that $1.104.73 of theaggregatecl $5,280.66 in the sewer district funds belongs to the city and not to the districts and should be transferred. He linds, as éid the Argus, that the sewer funds in seven districts should be closed. So far Mr. Seyler has closely followed and entirely corroborated the Argus article. Read the article and the report together and see for yourself. Then Mr. Seyler goes into a discussion of two paving accounts into which the Argus did not delve and finds a bad condition of affaire there which we hall deal with later on. DISTINCTION BETWEEN FUNDS. It may as well be stated here so that no amount of pettifogging can befog the issue, that the charter makes an overdraft on Feb. i illegal. At the eud of the fiscal year the city funds must be sufflcieut to pay all warrants irawn during that year. The city charter has nothing to say about sewer funds or paving funds. These were created later and under local acts of the legislature passed for the purpose f permitting sewers to be built and paving to be done. The sewer act, for Inatance, provides for the creation of a sewer fund to pay sewer bonds. It is perfeetly proper then that the city treasurer should do as he does, report separately upon sewer funds and paving funds and it is perfectly proper when discussing the February overdraft to rofer only to the city funds, the funds concerning which the charter makes proyisions, the only funds which belong to the whole city to pay, as distinguished froni the funds which belong to the sewer or paving districts to pay. WIIY SHOULD PAVING PUNDS BE INCIittDED? Tliis being granted and it being remembered that the local act of t] islature provided tlie way in which the bonds in paving distrleta No. 1 and 2 should be paid, is it not proper K throw out from e on of the in The ci1 ' Mare suni If i tino; tricl f ui fleduct these district pavii i Mr. Seyler's lisl Cunda, perk ii give some good re why the trict No. 1 and $897.55 casli in paving district No. 2 should not be the city's resources and sö the estimated March 1 overdraft to $3,647.01. If these two paving districts ai be ellmlnated from the city fund Mr. Seyler's estimated overdraft on Jui.v 1. 1903, dwindles to $12,959.64. SEYLER'S ESTÍMATE NOT A LI. PAYARLE P.Y JULY 1. The Argus does not agree with Mr. Seyler's estímate as to tlie necessary overdraft July 1. and thinks it cau clearly show how me estímate ís too large. ín tlie flrst place, Mr. Seyler estimates tlie liquor tax recelved ín May to be $7,500. The liquor tax recoived by tho city last May was $9,366.21. Why should it be nearly $2,000 less this year? That estímate musí have been the mayor's own estímate. In the second place, Mr. Seyler estimates the warrants until July as the same as the corresponding months last year, but what he calis bis April orders were not allowed by the council last year until May, and his June orders were not allowed until July 7. Mr. Seyler calis the warrants ordered drawn July 7 last year June orders and thus puts one of the biggest mouths in the year in tor the estima tod expenses before July 1. It includes the big water bill for 0 months, which last year was $3,475, in before July 1, when as a matter of f act it will not be allowed until July 6 this year. Fixiu;i up Mr. Seyler's estímate in these two particulars and the overdraft would stand July 1 as follows: Seyler estimated overdraft Feb. 28 $ 6,706 70 Bonds, March 1 4,000 00 Warrants allowed March, April, May and June, if the same as allowed in these months last year... 14,440.10 $25,152 86 i.i'iuor tax 19,366 21 Delinquent tax. 500 00- 9,906 21 $15,186 65 This would leave the overdraft July 1. $15,186.55- nearly $10,000 less than the city attorney and the mayor want irrow. Thpy have dropped from I 00 to $25,000 in their claim as to the overdraft and it ought not to be ! dlfficuli for them to drop another $10,000. Does the mayor want to spend $10,000 more between now and July 1 than he did last year. so as to have a $25,000 overdraft on that date? These Sgurea are not to be accepted as Argus figures. Tlïey take Mr. Seyler's finding as to an overdraft on March 1. As a matter of fact the warrants allowed in Januery were put down as $3,321.28 when they were $7,010.15, and on the other hand there was in the neighborhood of $3,000 cash which should have been counted as resources. We simply take the figures on which the mayor relies and show that they will not give the July l overdraft. NO DIFFERENCE AS TO THE FIGURES. The Argus has shown its figures to Mr. Seyler aud discussed the matter with him and thinks it can clearly state the difference between these I two sets of figures. Mr. Seyler calis June warrants, warrants for work done in June. He admits that these are never allowed until July but correctly States that the work has already been done by July 1. The Argus looks at it from a different standpoint. These warrants which are allowed July 6 for work done in June and for six months water, are not paid until after July 6 and from the Argus point of view do not enter into a discussion of an overdraft on July 1, because they do not become a claim against the city until after that date. Mr. Seyler in conversation this raorning stated that there is $2,102.1 I cash in labor account paving district Xo. 1 and 897.55 in district Ko. 2, which does not belong there, as those pavements have beenfully paid for, and those accounts should be clool. Ho had not taken this into account in his report as he was not sure where it belonged. Why not use it to pay part of the defioiency in the tax eouut of these and so i educe the amount which Mr. S city will have to tod? Mr. in May I Will not Bh 1 as his estímate does. but I will owe ranch, although niany of I up for paym liat is true. But no i 11 havo money to duo. In all this eontenrion the f ■'■ the city has, with the possible exeeptlön of one year, always had an overdraft on July ' :I"1 that it is not against the city charter providing they raise enough inoney in July tofully settle it. Mr. Seyler's report was as follows: To the Honorable Ooniuion Council, City of Ann Arbor: TIip mayor and finance committee, composed of Aldermen F. M. Ilamilt.on, Coon and Douglas, havo requestod me to raake a statement of the condltlou of the fonds of the city of Ann Arbor at the present time. I sha 11 ondea vor to my best ability, in the short time, to make clear to your honorable body the state of finances as I tiiul tlioin. For the benefit of the public, I wil] explaln in brief the mode of paying money out of the city treasury: A report of all bilis to be paid during any one month is made out by the city clerk and submitted to the committee on finance the Friday before the first Monday of each month for approval, a f ter which they are passed upou by the common council at its next regular meeting, and if agaiu approved, the clerk is ordered to draw warrants for same. These are issued, drawn upon the various funds as per finance report. At the end of the month, they are taken from the bank by the city treasurer, who charges same to funds upon which they were drawn, and in no case whatever has he authority to debit any account not designated upou face of warrant. There are three reports sent by the treasurer to the common council monthly, under the heads of "city fund," "sewer fund" and "pavement fund," and each report has its balance, whether on hand or overdrawu. The balances, as they appear upou the city treasurer's reports ending December 31, 1902, are as follows: Pavement fund- on hand. . .$27,497 SI Sewer fund- overdrawn. . . . 15,790 14 City funds- on hand 41,213 05 PAVEMENT FUND. When any contract is let for paving, bonds are not usually issued until the fina! estímate is received from the city engineer, who gives the entire cost of such improvment. The contractors are allowed from time to time, as the work progresses, au amount of money u to a certain percentage of the work done. Tlioro exists no actual account with said pavement district uutil the bonds are sold. at which time the amount received from sale is placod to the credit of labor account, paving district No. 5, State street, as in this case. The following amounts were paid to Lamme Bros., contra ctors for Sta Ie street, during the piogress of the work and amounted to $30,189.55, taken from the street fund temporarily and can be returued to said account only by resolution of the council upon completion of the job and sale of bonds. Sept. 9, 1902. Warrant No. 21811, Lanane Bros $9,483 30 Oct 21, 1902. Warrant No. 21915, Lanane Bros 11,188 03 Nov. 18, 1902. Warrant No. 22012, Lanane Bros 9,518 22 Total $30,389 55 The amount received from sale of bonds was $31,779.00 and accrued interest $03.50 ($31,779.00 face of bonds), passed to credit of labor account, paving district No. 5, and $63.56 to tax account, district No. 5. In the matter of Ann street pavement, being district No. 6, I find the following: Warrant No. 21914 issued Oct. 6 to Clarken & Schneider, contraetors, for $3,004.19 against district 5 (intended for No. 6) and warrant No. 22005, Nov. 5 for $162.11 to same parties; total $3,220.30. The bonds sold realized $3,404.65 and was passed to credit of labor account, paving district No. 6, and accrued interest and premium $27.97 to tax account, district No. 6. When the councii transfers by resolution the amount paid to Lanane Bros. from labor account, paving district No. 5, to street fund, it will leave a balance on hand in this district (pavement), $1,589.45; and also from labor account, paving district No. 5, to labor account, district No. 6, the amount advanced to Clarken & Schneider amounting to $3,226.30, there will then be a credit balance of $109.85 in this district. These balances, which are retained for one year, are 5 per cent of the total cost of the pavemonts. SEWER FUNDS. The most important item in the city flnances to (Iemand attention (Main fund), there was a credit to this a iy 1, 1897, Of ! and the tl report of Jan. 1. 21,070.80, i acby the , mer or later ■ in thf city tax. In making a tmsty review of the r funds in districts No. 1. 2. 3, ■1. 5, (!. 7. sotne dating hack ten years, ■i total biilanci U.7: duo the resource. The taxes in itricts are all paid and the elosing up of the accounts has been rreommondod for severa 1 yo.-i rs. The next important Items of interest are the lax accounts of paving districts 1 and 2. The bonds for district No. 1 were sold Nov. 30, 1808, and amounted to $21,256.80, $10.127.04 was assessed against the property In district, leavIng a balance of $11,129.50 as the city's portion to pay, exclusive of interest. The bonds ran for four years, one-quarter due yearly. During the four years, I fiud but $5,000.00 appropriated to ineet $11,129.50, and dednctlng the taxes outstandlng Jan. 1 of $244.53 woulcl make an overdraft for the city to meet of $8,281.97. The sanie conditíon is met with in pa ving district No. 2. Bonds sold Nov. 30, 1898, amountod to $8,982.93, $5,000.00 of which was assessed to district, the balance, $.",- . 982.93 the city assumed. During the ' four years lut $2.200.00 was appropri' ated to pay $3,982.93, not including interest, and allowlng for the paymeni ' of outstandlng taxes, we are agaiu ' confronted with an overdraft of $2,044.09. The following is a recapitulation of all city funda showing condition al the present time: RESOURCES. Jan. 1, 1903. Cash on hand, city treasurer's report. . .$41,213 05 Jan. 1, '03, uncollected $5,427 29 City tax delinquent (estimated) 1,500 00- 3,927 29 Excess of rolls 145 03 Sidewalk tax, walks built by city 761 96 Street fund, froni paving district No 5 30,189 55 Sewer fund, districts No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 4,494 73 Delinquent tax, due from couuty treasurer (esti mated) 300 00 Total $81,031 61 LIABILITIES School district No. 1, tax collected during Dec $29,908 18 State tax, tax collected during Dec 10,938 93 Connty tax. tax collected during Dec 7,880 33 The Main sewer fund overdraft 21,070 80 Tax Acc't Pav. Dis. No. 1 overdraft 8.2S1 97 Tax Acc't Pav. Dis. No. 2 overdraft 2,044 09 Warrants for Jan., 1903 (estimated) 3,321 28 Warrants for Feb., 1903 (estimated) 3,000 00 Outstandlng warrants Jan. 1, 1903, per clerk's report 1,292 73 Total $87,738 31 Overdraft of $0,700.70 March 1, 1903. To ascertain the overdraft for Feb. lst deduct $3,000.00 from this amount ($0,706.70), which is an estímate of the finance report for that month. The treasurer's report to the council for February and March wW show a balance on hand for the simple reason that he lias in bis possession most of the school, state and county money which will not be paid to county, treasurer and school treasurer until the lst of March or later, and if the city will pay over to the sewer and pavement funds the overdrafts it has created there, and bring back the amount due from sewer districts No. 1 to 7, heretofore explained, it will find itself financially in about the above condition. All of which is respectfully submitted. EDW. L. SEYLER. Edward L. Seyier, being first duly sworn, deposes and says: I prepared the above and foregoing statement of the standing of the finances of the city of Ann Arbor, and that the same is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. EDW. L. SEYLER. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2d day of February, 1903. CHAS. E. HISCOCK, Notary Public, Washtenaw County, Michigan. As a supplementary report, which I was not asked to give, I will outliue, in estimates only, the probable condition of the finalices July 1, 1903. On March lst, bonds, with interest, to the amount of $12,330.92 are due and must be paid by the city treasurer as follows: Paving Dis. No. 3 $3,412 50 Paving Dis. No. 4 3,676 20 Paving Dis. No. o 3,556 11 Paving Dis. No. 6 398 61 Sewer Dis Xo. S 137 50 Sewer Dis. No. i) 570 mi Sewer Dis. No. lo $12,330 92 inds, bout ■ 16 70 4,000 00 2,7.J15 00 ivarrants, month in 36 00 ivarrants, based on coriouding menth in 1902 3,:46 00 based on corresponding mouth in 1902 8.7G2 00 285 70 Liquor money receivimI in May (estimated) $7,500 Delinquent tax from county treasurer (estimated) 500- S.000 00 Kstimated overdraft July 1, 1903 $23,285 70 By Aid. Hamilton: