For the sixth year in a row, the City of Jamestown has ended a year financially in the black -- enjoying a $468,000 surplus for 2006.
City Comptroller Joe Bellitto told the City Council on Monday night that while the budget totaled $28.6 million, revenue came in at more than $29 million.
"Our revenues exceeded our expenditures," Bellitto said. "So all in all, that's a good year. That gives us a total, unaudited fund balance of just over $2,140,000."
Bellitto noted, however, that half of the fund balance is restricted, committed to new downtown parking ramps.
The comptroller also credited increased state financial aid and highway funding for helping the city achieve a healthy fiscal ending.
"Overall, it's a good year," Bellitto summed up.
Mayor Sam Teresi praised department heads and Council members for taking a realistic and honest approach to budgeting.
"There's been a change in the overall budget philosophy and approach here in city government from the time we bottomed out at the turn of the century," he said. "I believe the current approach is honest and responsible."
Before 2000, the city twice saw its fund balance dip into the red.
Teresi noted, "Nobody is any longer intentionally inflating revenues or underestimating expenditures for the purpose of delivering more politically popular" tax bills to people.
Lillian Vitanza, chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, said the budget report validates all that public officials have done over the past several years.
"This supports a lot of the thinking of the Council," she said. "We showed a lot of courage, especially in the Finance Committee."
Councilman Tony Dolce said: "We made a lot of tough decisions. We made good decisions -- sound financial decisions."
A dash of cold reality infiltrated the celebration, however. Bellitto warned lawmakers that the city exceeded its snow-removal budget for the first quarter of 2007 and little will be left for the end of the year.