GENTRY Mayor Wes Hogue presented a proposed 2011 city budget to the council at a special meeting on Nov. 30, though additional changes are likely, according to Hogue.
Hogue spoke of the meeting as the “official turning over ceremony” to meet the requirements of the law, adding that the proposed budget was now the council’s to adopt, change or modify as the council sees fit.
He said the finance committee would likely continue to work on the budget before a final version is brought to the council for adoption.
The main issue yet to be decided relates to employee salaries and pay raises, though a few other outstanding issues may also be discussed.
A pay increase of 2 percent was included in the budget proposal, but the finance committee is expected to considerwhether the city can afford to give raises at the present time.
Total revenues in the city’s general fund were projected to decline slightly in 2011, from $1,330,566 in 2010 to $1,282,730 in 2011. Expenditures were projected slightly higher, rising from a projected $1,139,887 in 2010 to $1,222,846 in 2011.
While the city has traditionally tried to budget no more than 90 percent of projected revenues, the proposed budget for next year is 95.3 percent of the projected income.
Income projections are conservative, according to Hogue. Income often exceeds the projections used for budgeting purposes.
To be on the safe side, the council’s finance committee has been looking at other line items in the budget which could be cut or reduced.
Other funds in the budget proposal package submitted by Hogue include the County Tax Account, with an anticipated decline in revenuesfrom $874,210 to $678,500 and a decline in spending from $649,100 to $584,500; Street and Alley Fund, with expected income at $871,250, up from $834,740 this year; and expenses of $746,751, up from $502,905 this year; Solid Waste Fund, with expected income at $26,200, down from $34,665 this year, and expenses at $15,750, up from $14,400 in 2010; and numerous others.
The Water and Sewer Department budget projects an increase in expenses, from $2,471,807 in 2010 to $2,521,050 next year. Income is anticipated at $2,146,050, up from the $2,096,807 projected for this year.
Overall, with revenues tight, the city is looking at a restricted budget for next year as well.
A special meeting to adopt a budget has been set for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14. Additional budget work is on the agenda for the Finance Committee prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
News, Pages 7 on 12/08/2010
Print Headline: Mayor presents tight budget to council