To the editor:
This letter is in response to a recent erroneous ad taken out in the Cody Enterprise and Buyer’s Guide.
The City of Cody does not have $23 million in General Fund Reserves. Cities and counties are required by law to maintain account systems that segregate the functions within our local government.
These account funds are either business-type or government-type. A business-type fund charges a user for services and provides services. A good example is the electrical department in the city or the landfill in the county. If you are an electrical customer, you pay fees for your electricity.
Law requires that those fees stay only in that business type or electrical fund. The City of Cody cannot charge you more for electricity so it can hire more police officers. That is illegal. Government type funds collect tax dollars and provide services to all community members, and an example of that would be law enforcement.
The City of Cody has four business-type funds – Solid Waste (garbage), Water, Wastewater (sewage) and Electric – and these funds need to maintain larger reserve balances because they deal with very expensive infrastructure.
The General Fund has approximately $2 million in unrestricted reserves and $2 million in restricted. Unrestricted are the dollars that are truly the city’s savings account. Restricted money is restricted by state law in its use.
Two million dollars may seem like a lot of money to have in the savings account, but it is the savings of a city with 10,000 citizens all depending on daily services. As City of Cody citizens, we expect the police to come when called for assistance, the parks to be maintained, the Rec Center to open for kids and adults, city hall to be open so we may get our permits and the old auditorium to be available for our wedding receptions or gun auctions.
All these services and more come out of the General Fund. Your city and county leaders would be happy to discuss this with anyone who wants further information. As fellow community members, we ask you to consider all the information before voting Nov. 3.
(s) Barry A. Cook