Some of our supporters may have seen the report released today by the City Controller detailing bills owed the city for police services. The Bicycle Coalition is on that list for the bill that we still owe for the 2011 (and last) edition of our closed-streets Bike Philly bike ride.
I want to reassure our supporters that the Bicycle Coalition will pay off the bill by the end of this year. The police bill was included as a liability in our 2011 financial statements. We also had a deficit in 2011. We have had small surpluses each year since then and are now close to being able to pay off the bill.
Managing the cash flow of a small nonprofit is a challenge even when the budgets balance. Unfortunately, expenses and income do not always line up well month-to-month. In FY 2013, we ended the year with a surplus but still had months where our year-to-date expenses were higher than our year-to-date income by as much as $50,000. This is one of the factors that has made paying off the police bill such a challenge. Don’t worry – it does not mean that the Bicycle Coalition has been failing to balance our budgets since 2011.
I am very appreciative that the City of Philadelphia has allowed us time to pay off the bill. I was as disappointed as anyone else that we could not make Bike Philly financially sustainable. Nevertheless I believe Bike Philly contributed to making Philadelphia a better place to live and visit.