Port committee suggests budget changes


By Nathan Kraatz



WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Port Authority’s finance committee will present recommended changes to the port’s general fund budget on Thursday.

The finance committee, which met Monday and included port members David Hockaday, Larry Laake and Brian Smith, reviewed the budget, suggesting decreases to the general fund’s expenditures from $8.41 million to $8.36 million and revenue from $7.14 million to $7.01 million.

Those suggestions will be presented to the full port board Thursday, at its regular meeting, for adoption.

Also present were fiscal officer Pat Thompson, Assistant Director Beth Huber, Executive Director Kevin Carver and port advisor Walt Rowsey, whose appointment as a member of the port begins in October.

The port owns the Wilmington Air Park.

Thompson said she anticipates the port will end closer to a $3 million cash balance than the almost $918,000 balance predicted by the budget.

“It appears everything is in line with where we were expecting it to go,” said Smith.

There’s also a $675,000 budgetary reserve that isn’t included as part of the ending cash balance but is available to the port.

Thompson said she estimates revenue and expenses on the side of caution.

The decrease in revenue will mostly come from the sale of scrap metal, the price of which decreased from about $400 a ton to $138-$150 a ton, according to Hockaday.

Carver estimated that the port will finish collecting scrap metal by the end of the year. The port has taken metal, including sorting equipment and conveyors, from the buildings over the time in an effort to make them more marketable to tenants.

Cuts to expenditures come from lower property tax payments than expected and decreases to professional fees. An almost $70,000 increase was made to administration expenses in anticipation of hiring two part-time staff and having a new executive director by the end of the year.

Carver’s contract expires in December. He said the port hopes to have a new director in place before then during the transition period.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

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By Nathan Kraatz