San Antonio's Rockstar Turned Realtor®: San Antonio finds $30 Million. Was it in the couch cushions?

San Antonio finds $30 Million. Was it in the couch cushions?

Loose change.

photo courtesy of uhuru1701

Talk about a windfall.

You know the feeling you get when you find a couple dollars in quarters in the couch cushions?  Or that rumpled twenty dollar bill that you just can't figure out how you didn't notice it was missing.  Well imagine finding a lot more than that.  A lot more.  $29,999,980 more.  That's just what the city of San Antonio recently found.  It appears that varying amounts from city projects has been left in accounts after the projects were closed out and all this money has been floating around in the banking system, earning interest the whole time.  The money is from over a thousand different projects dating back 25 years.

How did it happen?

Apparently, the city would finish a project and have a surplus of money that had been ear-marked for the project.  Instead of pulling the last bits of change out of the account, they would move on to the next project.  A $1,000,000 project might wind up under-budget for $1,000, so that money sat there earning interest the whole time.  How the accountants for the city didn't notice this is beyond me, but in some ways, its nice that they did.  Everyone likes some surprise money, don't they?

Where will it go?

The City has decided to collect all the money and reinvest it into the city on various projects that had been shelved or were waiting for funding.  Each city council district will receive a share of the collected funds to complete various public works in their pipelines.  I wonder if they'll forget to account for any under-budget surpluses this time?  City Manager Sheryl Sculley has said new procedures will be put in place to make sure this doesn't happen again.  I'm not sure if I think that's the best idea though...what if we could find another $30 million in 25 years?  Let's start a city loose change jar and use it once every 25 years on something big, instead of just dividing it up on smaller projects.  Perhaps a city wide party every 25 years to thank all of us citizens of San Antonio.  "Fiesta 25" (my new name for my proposed city-wide event) - Bigger, better, and with tons of cash!  Forget the Oyster Bake, let's have a Lobster Boil every 25 years and make it a free event!

Comment balloon 10 commentsMatt Stigliano • January 17 2009 08:44AM


OOOHHH a lobster boil, now that sounds like fun and delicious and FREE! Free is my friend. 

I would propose they spend some of the money to get more crew on the Braun road widening project.  Let's get that project FINISHED, it is taking WAY too long.  Just my personal preference :P.  KM

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - about 11 years ago

Kristin - Free is my friend too.  I can't believe how long Braun Road is taking.  I hate going up there and I can imagine what it must be like on the morning commute just to get out of Wildhorse.  While we're at it, can we finish up the 410/Bandera interchange, I'm bored of waiting to drive on the new ramps.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) about 11 years ago

Hi Matt:

WOW...let me go and check my cushions! -

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) about 11 years ago

Matt, I vote for lobster. Lobster is not one of my favorites. It is my very favorite food on the planet.  I can't think of anything I like better.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 11 years ago

Just last week my daughter walked in and said, "If I would have kept this you never would have known".  She had found a $100 bill that I couldn't find when we were on vacation about three years ago.  Glad your city found something . . .I wish they would find it here!

Posted by Tami Vroma, Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate (West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Toula - Did you find anything?  I never find much but napkins, crumbs, and the occasional spider.

Shirley - Perhaps Kristin, you, and I should petition the Mayor?

Tami - Three years?  Nice find.  I used to find money on the streets a lot when I was kid...I had a special talent for it.  With the advent and popularity of debit cards, I don't find it much anymore.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) about 11 years ago

Matt, I vote for Mexican food - in Cancun!   :)

Randy Hooker

Posted by Randy Hooker, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek (Dreamcatcher Realty / Greater Phoenix Area) about 11 years ago

Amazing how goverment can be so lax with tax payers money.

Posted by Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker about 11 years ago

Randy - Fire up the jet and I'll start bagging up all those coins.  We should be there in no time.

Richard - I just can't imagine that no one caught on to some of these accounts...25 years?  That's a long time for a city accountant to overlook something.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) about 11 years ago


Imagine what they spend on waste if they can not keep track of what they have......I hope the city benefits.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) about 11 years ago