PlanPhilly

DRWC passes operating budget

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Board of Directors recently adopted a $7.57 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

The budget is about $205,000 larger than that of the fiscal year that ended in June. DRWC ended FY2013 with a $4,700 shortfall, which Director of Finance Rinku Modi said would be made up with money from the capital reserve – basically, the savings account.

The overall shortfall is much smaller than the difference between projected and actual revenues last year: $74,100. That difference was partly the result of the Philadelphia Belle going out of business and no longer paying rental fees. Some expenses were trimmed during the year.

Board Vice-chairman Jay Goldstein – who is founder, president and CEO of Valley Green Bank – said ending the year $4,700 off in a budget that size is a great achievement.

The operating budget, as the name suggests, covers the organization's operating expenses, which includes personnel costs and those of events DRWC sponsors, such as the various Penn's Landing festivals.

Some highlights:

-There's a new income stream: For the next 10 years, DRWC will receive $85,000 annually from law firm Saul Ewing, through a city program that allows large-scale payers of the city’s Business Income and Receipts (aka, business privilege) tax to divert some of their tax dollars to a community development corporation.

-Based on the success of the Race Street Pier Promenade fundraiser, the DRWC bumped its fundraising revenue line from $90,000 budgeted in fiscal year 2013 to $100,000. This fiscal year, $115,000 was actually raised.

-Salaries and wages are down more than $28,000 and benefits $87,800 due to retirements and other personnel changes.

The operating budget does not include development projects, such as the Pier 53 and Spring Garden Connector projects. Those are included in the capital expenditures report, which Modi said the Board will receive in January. The board approves capital expenses individually as projects come up, Modi explained. They do not approve a year's worth of projects at once, because things vary so much based on available funding.

A copy of the budget summary is attached to this article. Please note that the 2013 budget figures are a year end (y/e) forecast. Modi explained that the numbers won't be final until all the June receipts have come in and been paid, and the year-end audit is completed, in August.

About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates



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