Como aldermen hear proposal for $1.2 million town budget

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016

Como aldermen hear proposal for $1.2 million town budget

By John Howell
Como Mayor Everette Hill and financial consultant Lygunnah Bean presented a proposed $1.2 million 2017 budget to town aldermen in a work session Saturday, August 20.

Alderwomen Teresa Dishmon, Rachel Powell and Alderman John Walton joined Hill and Bean along with City Clerk Alice Houston as Bean reviewed the five-page proposal, line-by-line. Bean’s figures include actual and budgeted amounts for the 2016 fiscal year budget, the differences, and the amounts budgeted for 2017.

The actual expenses and revenue are based on figures to date plus estimates through the Sept. 30 end of the 2016 fiscal year.

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Como’s 2016 revenue projected for the September 30 close of this budget year exceeds the budget projection by $109,678.59. Expenses for 2016, budgeted at $1,023,105.48 are projected for September 30 to total $1,120,334.85 — $97,229.37 over budget but still $12,449.22 less than revenue.

“I do a conservative budget,” Bean said. “You’ll see where I do a conservative budget.”
The largest single source of anticipated revenue for 2017 will be utility receipts at $400,000, followed by grant income at $300,000; ad valorem taxes, $169,000; sales tax, $150,000; fines and forfeitures and tourism tax, both at $50,000; motor vehicle tax and  franchise fees, both at $33,000.

The two percent franchise fee paid by Como’s natural gas system owner Mississippi Natural to the town is included in the $33,000, Bean said.

Other revenue sources expected to exceed $10,000 in 2017 are homestead exemption reimbursements at $12,000 and rental income at $11,500. Revenue sources ranging from $50 for an account labeled “individual” to $9,500 for other taxes are projected to total $36,661 from 15 revenue accounts.

Bean said that $49,493.04 collected in fines and forfeits includes $16,000 from the bonding company of former City Clerk Kara Killebrew, the amount that she embezzled from the town before she was arrested.

Como expects to spend $116,784.19 from its administrative account, $64,000 from its administrative expense account, $12,150 from its executive director account; $62,100 from its utilities account; $285,984 from its police expense account, $228, 205 from its maintenance account; $42,000 from its contract labor account, $60,390 for debt service, $12,000 for the library, $3,200 the fire department and $300,000 for grant expenses.

Police expenses include $25,000 to buy a new patrol car for the town, Bean said. Maintenance expenses include $50,000 budgeted for the purchase of a tractor and mower.

Debt service expenses include payment of $6,500 that will complete payment to the City of Sardis for dispatching services that fell into arrears several years ago.

The financial consultant said that although Como expects to receive upwards of $4.8 million in grants and loans for sewer rehabilitation during fiscal 2017, the money cannot be entered into the budget until the town receives it.

Bean also said that the amount of money expected to flow through the town budget from the sewer and water grant and loan would require Como’s CPA, Artris Niter, to prepare a full audit.
“It’s a good thing to have a full audit,” Bean said. “What puts you into the audit is the grants.”