The city of North Platte is on track to finish the fiscal year with a $5.6 million surplus, according to reports discussed Tuesday afternoon by the city council.

The council met for about an hour before their regular meeting to take a look at projected expenses and revenues in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The council will hold more work sessions on the budget in August.

According to the projections, the 2020-21 expenditures could be about $2.8 million less than expected, and revenues could add up to $2.8 million more than expected.

If all goes well, the city will put some of that money into cash reserves to have the capacity to completely fund operations for a month or more if disaster strikes and the city would have no income. North Platte has never carried much of a cash reserve, instead allocating some contingency funds each year.

The majority of this year’s surplus revenue comes from unspent contingency funds, City Finance Manager Dawn Miller told the Bulletin after the meeting.

During the regular council meeting that followed, the council agreed to change the zoning of land near Bicentennial and E. Philip from light industrial to residential. It was the second reading for the rezoning, and the council made it the final reading, after a motion by Ty Lucas to eliminate the third reading.

Lucas said the rezoning and plans to build new homes have been well publicized by the news media, and there has been no opposition. He said North Platte is in desperate need of more housing.

The planned residential area consists of about 40 acres. Up to 100 single-family homes as well as some duplexes are in the plans for the development.

In other action, the council agreed for the third and final time to vacate part of North Eastman Ave. on East 15th St.  

Also, the council:

• Authorized payments to Beveridge, Inc. and Shelco Construction for work on Reid Ave.

• Approved an application by Pals Brewing for a special liquor license from 6-10 p.m. Aug. 28 at Allo Communications, 702 E. Francis, for Allo’s 10 year celebration.

• Considered an application by Krystal Carter to manage the liquor licenses at Casey’s General Stores in North Platte. The application will go to the state liquor control commission with no recommendation, which is the customary procedure.

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