The District of Houston has started moving monies from its general budget accounts to reserve accounts in anticipation of having to finance large projects in the years ahead.
Council, at its Jan. 5 session, approved the transfer of just over $1.5 million.
Just under half, $714,505, comes not from any actual surplus from the District’s core budget of 2020 but from revenues provided to the District from the Dungate Community Forest which is 90 per cent owned by the District.
In this circumstance, the money was placed within the reserve account meant to help finance the construction of a new community hall, a key infrastructure project identified by the District.
Another $160,000 was moved over for arena capital purposes, $160,920 for public works equipment and $400,000 for water and sewer infrastructure work.
“This is funding that was pre-allocated in the base budget for 2020,” District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck explained.
“Overall spending, excluding project expenses and revenue sources, is well within budget,” District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck added in a memo to council seeking approval to transfer the monies.
The Dungate money was from its 2019 financial operating year and assigning the $714,505 toward the construction of a new community hall follows the wishes of Dungate’s board of directors who wanted the money to be used for something that would have a broad community purpose.
With this transfer, the District will have approximately $1 million or 20 per cent of the estimated $4.9 million it will take to build a new community hall. That figure, however, is an estimate and is subject to change once a size and location for a new hall is determined and exact plans drawn up.