Another year of rising pension costs and flat revenues in 2011 forced Allentown to tap into what’s turned out to be not such an endless well.
Faced with a deficit for the fourth year in a row, the city dipped a bit farther into its shrinking general fund, spending more than $12 million in the last five years.
The general fund is the city’s primary operating account. It’s used to collect most revenues, pay out most expenses, like public safety and public works, and carry over undesignated and unspent money into the following year.
Now, Allentown is faced with its smallest fund balance in years — $1.9 million — and city officials aren’t ruling anything out if faced with a fifth year of deficit — not tax increases, not the sale of city property or any other solutions.