Thursday, July 16, 2015

How Not to Lose Matching Funds

Recently council member Eric Jenkins has come up with a unique idea so that the city does not lose matching funds.

A little background:  In the past the city has had to delay projects because it could not produce matching funds.  What are matching funds?  The county, state or feds will periodically propose funding for a project (usually a public works type such as storm water, street etc).  The other entity will provide funding if the city can match funding.  Usually the funding is not a one to one match.  In many cases the other entity will provide two, three or more dollars for every one put up by the city. 

Example would be if a storm water project is proposed for $600,000 and the county offers a 3:1 match, that means that the county will pay $450,000 if the city comes up with $150,000.  This provides a way for the city to get back monies paid in taxes to the other entities (county, state and fed).

What Eric Jenkins has proposed, and it makes sense, is to take unspent funds from other projects that are self funded and place them in a "matching fund" account and held for when these other matching fund projects come up.  An example of this would be if there is a street project that is budgeted for $900,000, and after all is done, the final cost comes in at $865,000.  Mr. Jenkins' proposal would place the unspent $35,000 in a matching fund hold account. That would potentially reduce the possibility of having to turn down matching funds from other entities.