The El Dorado City Commission received an update from El Dorado Inc. during their last meeting.

Ed Gard, Inc. president, talked about the statistics they have seen over the past year.


The El Dorado City Commission received an update from El Dorado Inc. during their last meeting.
Ed Gard, Inc. president, talked about the statistics they have seen over the past year.

“We are here to give a little information on the statistics we track that would indicate a little about how the local economy is maneuvering its way through the economy and what is going on around us today,” Gard said.

First, he looked at unemployment in Butler County. Through the end of September, it rose to 7.2 percent, compared to 4.3 percent in September 2008.

“The thing that is important to note here is when you compare our unemployment rate to that of the state, we are slightly higher than the 6.8 percent,” Gard said, adding that Butler County compares favorably to Sedgwick and Harvey counties.

He also discussed sales tax collections, which indicate what is going on with spending. At the end of October 2009, the sales tax revenues were down 9.8 percent, a decrease of $196,776 from a year ago.

“Through July that number was down 4.6 percent, so we had a doubling in the decline,” he said.

In all, they collected $1,923,000. This will affect projects funded by the city’s undedicated sales tax revenue.

“The odds of having undedicated sales tax revenues through the end of the year are not looking too optimistic at this point,” Gard said.

The city does expect to meet its budgeted sales tax dollars though.
Another area Inc. looked at was housing starts.

“This is kind of an interesting number,” Gard said.

January through October there were 11 starts, while there were 20 in that same period a year ago.
“That is down 45 percent over a year,” Gard said.

But there was some good news for the second part of this year. Through June there had only been four housing starts this year, which showed a 76 percent decrease.

“The trend in the last four months have been more positive than the first six months,” he said.

Herb Llewellyn, city manager, pointed out until the city commission passed its stimulus package for housing, they went almost a year without a housing start. He said those 20 last year were all in the first five to six months of 2008.

“A bright spot here is the new commercial building permits issued from January to October are up substantially,” Gard said.

In addition, Valmont purchased its building, which retained 48 jobs in the community.

A final area looked at was bed tax. January through September was down 18.8 percent or $27,733. Looking at those numbers by quarter, the first quarter was down 38 percent, through May it was down 29.6 percent, through June it was down 21.4 percent and through September it was down 18.8 percent.

“Again some positive trends have been occurring in the last months of the year,” Gard said.