Brentwood emergency reserves in need of bolstering - KMOV.com

Brentwood emergency reserves in need of bolstering

BRENTWOOD, Mo (KMOV.com) -- The city of Brentwood is in a tough financial spot. Many are saying that the city doesn’t have enough money in the bank.

It seems the city only has enough emergency cash tucked away to keep the city running for about two weeks.

News 4 went to city hall to find out why.

“I can honestly say I was not a big fan of the way things were run in the past,” said Brentwood Alderman Tom Kramer.

Kramer says the city is not going broke, but things aren’t rosy either.

Over the years, Brentwood  leaders really haven’t done much for the city’s reserve fund—a fund designed to keep things going especially when sales tax revenues dip.

“We have to be patient sometimes with those businesses that owe us sales tax money so we have this reserve in place and it bounces between half a million and one and a half million.”

These days the city only has about half a million dollars on hand for when businesses don’t pay up on time.

That’s a fraction of what most cities tuck away.

News 4 wanted to talk with the city administrator about this, but her door was locked and we were told she was in meetings.

So what can brentwood do if the money dries up? The answer isn’t pretty.

“We have the utility tax that residents currently don’t have to pay and we have another tax that’s on real estate that residents don’t have to pay,” said Kramer. Suddenly implementing these taxes would be extremely unpopular and isn’t a solution anyone wants to talk about.

The new city administrator did eventually respond and said the city does have other specific reserve funds set aside, but the low balance in the general reserve fund is a serious matter. City officials are now working to change how things are done in Brentwood and start socking away more money for a  rainy day.

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