Water Department

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2009

Water department leads city spending

By Jason C. Mattox

The City of Batesville is set to adopt the 2010 budget following a public hearing Tuesday night that was sparsely attended and saw no opposition or comments.

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The only member of the public to attend the hearing was County Administrator Kelly McGee.

According to CPA Bill Crawford of Will Polk and Associates, the city is projecting revenues of $21,956,176 versus projected expenditures of $27,055,147 – a projected deficit of $5,098,971.

When reached by telephone Wednesday morning, Crawford said the city’s ending cash for fiscal year 2009 of $5,966,538 will be used to cover the deficit.

Using ending cash to carry into the new fiscal year is a routine procedure in city government.

The department with the largest expenditures for 2010 will be the Water and Sewer Department. The expenditures of $6,352,200 also include the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

“The Gas Department is second because its figures include the cost of natural gas the city purchases,” Crawford said.

The Gas Department is the largest revenue generator in the city accounting for 23.6 percent of the total revenue projections or approximately $5,181,657.

Also included in the budget is a three percent raise for all city employees that will cost the city $253,000.

“That number includes all of the city’s matches for insurances and taxes,” Crawford said.

Crawford said the budget cannot be adopted until one week after the public hearing but must be adopted by September 15, the date of the city’s next regular board meeting.

“Batesville is watching their dollars, and despite the higher expenditures, they are managing to operate without raising utility rates or the millage,” he said. “As it is a year of reappraisal, it is possible to have no increase in millage and still have people’s taxes increase.”