Ralston City Council

Ralston officials are going into the budget planning process with a watchful eye on the city’s lottery fund because it will be a fraction of what it was in the middle of the fiscal year.

The city is projecting its lottery fund will have a balance of $465,000 at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, down from $1.12 million at the end of March, halfway through its 2018-19 budget.

The city is hosting budget workshops after City Council meetings on Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, and is compiling projects for the upcoming year but doesn’t intend to allocate funds at this time, City Administrator Dave Forrest said.

“We focus a lot on the lottery funds, let’s put it that way,” Forrest said.

On March 31, the city’s lottery fund had $1.12 million, according to city documents. A month later it had $653,753 after the city used $750,000 to pay its final payroll and operating obligations for the Ralston Arena, help smooth the transition for Spectra Venue Management to take over operations and pay for concrete and piping repairs at the Arena.

At the end of June, the most recent month available, the city’s lottery fund had $900,654 with more than $650,000 in expenditures planned for the rest of the fiscal year.

Tim Bohling, the city’s finance director, said the city is projecting keno receipts of around $217,000 for those three months and ending the fiscal year with a lottery balance of $465,000.

Through June, the city had $1.08 million in keno receipts, an average of around $120,000 per month, and was on pace to reach the $1.4 million for which it budgeted.

Planned expenditures at the end of they year are $200,000 for street operations and debt service; $300,000 for concrete improvements and to fix a piping leak at the Ralston Arena; $20,000 for computer upgrades and a cruiser for the Ralston Police Department; and a lottery tax payment, which the city projects to be around $136,000.

Forrest said he doesn’t anticipate asking the council to approve any lottery transfers during the remainder of the current fiscal year.

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