- Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2016

KELSO, Wash. (AP) - The city of Kelso has ended its fiscal year with a $700,000 surplus. That money represents a real turnaround for the city that had a $500,000 shortfall at the end of fiscal 2015.

The Longview Daily News reports (https://is.gd/bSiJXe ) the city must now figure out how to spend the extra money, a rare and pleasant challenge.

Much of this year’s surplus is due to a $300,000 unexpected windfall from sales taxes, particularly from construction of a third BNSF Railway line through the city. Other factors included delays in filling two law enforcement jobs, lower costs of housing jail inmates, fuel prices and Medicare assistance for paying for retired law enforcement and firefighters’ medical insurance.

City Manager Steve Taylor said the city will use about $220,000 of the surplus to pay off debt taken out this year to pay for road repairs.

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Information from: The Daily News, https://www.tdn.com

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