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— The town council reviewed a proposed budget presented by Highfill Mayor Chris Holland at its Nov. 10 council meeting and held a work session with department heads on Thursday to see if there were other cuts which could be made to the proposed budget before it is brought back to the council at its December meeting.

The proposed 2010 budget projects incoming revenue of $1,972,275 and expenditures at $1,968,977, leaving a difference of $3,298 between projected income and budgeted line items. An error correction in the printed proposed budget distributed at the Nov. 10 meeting for the road-grading line item from $5,000 to $15,000 increased the budgeted expenditures by $10,000.

The proposed budget included a 5-percent wage increase for city employees, Holland said. The amount for legal fees and engineering fees was reduced, he said.

The proposed budget reflects an increase over last year’s budget of more than $300,000. The 2009 budget, according to the seven-year budget summary for the town of Highfill passed out by Holland, was $1,632,742 with a projected $1,645,500 in projected income for the year.

“Next year we’ll basically be maintaining what we have,” Holland told the council.

Cuts were made to the police department budget and to the fire department budget, according to Holland. Some of the safety equipment needed by the police department can be purchased from a savings account the department has for major equipment purchases.

Twenty-five thousand dollars was cut from the fire department budget over its 2009 budget.

“It’s a maintenance budget only,” said Fire Chief Jeremy Jackson, adding that the training budget was minimal.

The parks department also saw cuts of 45 percent. Councilwoman Sandy Evans said she would still like to see the parks department complete one project in 2010 if only a minor one. She mentioned the possibility of a climbing rock, picnic tables or more charcoal grills in the park.

A work session of the council was set for Thursday with separate times for department heads to come and review budget line items with the council. The council will also need to takeproximate $100,000 the city should receive in tax revenues from the supplies being shipped to Highfill for the construction of the new children’s shelter. According to Holland, the city may see a significant increase in revenue because of the children’s shelter, a new subdivision in which construction is to begin and an increase in airport ticket sales.

A final budget will be brought back to the council for approval, either at its regular December meeting or possibly at a special meeting. State law requires that cities adopts a budget by Feb. 1, though operating expenditures must be approved by the council prior to that for the city to function in the new year.

up the matter of pay increases for employees in a time when many cities are freezing pay.

Holland told council members he projected a drop in incoming revenue and did not include the ap-

News, Pages 1 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Highfill reviewing budgets for 2010

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