NRoute budget remains in the black through June

Published 9:44 am Friday, July 24, 2015

An NRoute bus travels down West Clay St. (Sam Andrews/The Vicksburg Post)

With less than three months remaining in the 2015 fiscal year, NRoute remains in the black with a strong cash flow and expenses under budget for the year.

“Our cash balance is very good, very high,” Nathan Cummins of May & Associates told the transportation system’s Board of Commissioners, as he read through the June balance sheet, which showed about $48,722 in the system’s checking and savings accounts.

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Cummins, however, warned the board the system still had some outstanding bills, which would reduce the account balance.

“Overall, revenue is consistent when you take into account we had depreciation this year,” he said. “Expenses are nothing out of the ordinary. June was a break-even month compared to the prior year.”

One thing that helped, he said, was a reduction in fuel and repair costs for 2015 compared with 2014, the result of new buses NRoute bought with Mississippi Department of Transportation multimodal funds.

According to the finance report, fuel costs were down by $19,000, while repair costs were cut by $12,000.

“All the expenses are under budget (year to date),” Cummins said. “If you look at the bottom line, there is zero difference, almost, in dollars over budget, so I think it’s probably right where it needs to be at this point in the year.

In a related issue, NRoute executive director Evelyn Bumpers said the bus system has been approved for $73,323 in state multimodal funds for fiscal 2016.

“That’s a 100 percent match for insurance and the buses we have on order,” she said. “This will allow us to insure all our vehicles and make sure our fleet stays current.”

She added the money will also allow NRoute officials to look at expanding routes and participate in a state Medicaid transportation program.

In other action, the board learned ridership was up by 616 over the same period in 2014 while revenue from fares was down by $2,939.

As of Tuesday, 37,978 riders have ridden NRoute buses since October, compared with 3,362 for the same period in 2014. Fares for the same period totaled $88,278.90, down from $91,217.90 in 2014.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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