Watertown has $16.5 million fund budget, the most ever

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WATERTOWN — COVID-19 was supposed to wreak havoc on the city’s finances.

It didn’t.

In fact, City Manager Kenneth A. Mix said the city’s financial picture is in strong shape and its $16.5 million fund balance is the most that he can ever remember.

“I don’t remember when we were in such a financial position,” he said.

Forecasters predicted that sales tax would be down at least 12% because of the closing down of the local economy caused by the pandemic. City Council also made some budget adjustments to prepare for a bleak financial picture going into last year.

But sales tax and hydro revenues did much better than expected during the 2020-21 fiscal year that ended June 30.

Hydro revenues bounced back from a slow start last year after a wet spring, summer and fall, Mr. Mix said.

Sales tax revenues ended up $5,553,114, or 33.36% more than was budgeted, according to a memo from the city comptroller’s office.

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