City Surplus

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 24, 2012

City departments expect surplus

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville aldermen during their Tuesday meeting adopted for public comment a municipal budget of approximately $27.3 million for fiscal 2013. The budget will not require an increase in city property taxes, Certified Public Accountant Bill Crawford of Will Polk and Associates said.

The city elected officials set a public hearing on the budget for Tuesday, September 4, at 6 p.m. Crawford said that he expects to have copies of the proposed budget available for city officials and for public review at city hall by Thursday, August 30.

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Crawford on Tuesday presented figures that anticipate ending fiscal 2011 with approximately $7.7 million in operating cash to be added to projected receipts of $23.1 million. The total is projected to leave the city with about $3.6 million ending cash in September, 2013.

“They budget high on the front end, even though they usually don’t spend it all,” Crawford said, contributing to the year-end projected cash amount.

The budget includes a three percent, across-the-board raise for all city employees.

General fund expenses are projected to be $12.5 million, with $1.2 million going to S and F, $4.4 million to the police department, $306,000 to the code department, $255,700 to city court, $2.3 million to the fire department, $468,900 to public health, $448,100 to parks and $316,500 going to the library.

Prior to the budget discussion that came late in the meeting that lasted over four hours, Alderman Eddie Nabors asked Fire Chief Tim Taylor about the status of a grant application for funds to purchase a second new fire truck for the city.

Taylor said that in early July he had applied for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for $345,000 for the fire truck purchase. The purchase of the second new truck by 2013 will allow the city to keep its class six fire insurance rating and allow the Batesville Fire Department to respond to calls outside city limits.

The city’s gas department fund will begin with projected cash of $2.6 million. After projected expenses of $4.3 million and revenues of $3.6 million the fund is projected to end fiscal 2013 with approximately $1.9 million projected cash.

Another major department, water and sewer, begins the year with about $2 million projected operating cash and anticipates receipt of $5.7 million against $6.5 million in projected expenses.

During Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen made minor changes in Crawford’s figures before voting to adopt the budget, set the September 4 hearing and setting a meeting for September 11 for final adoption.  The fiscal 2013 budget year begins Oct. 1.