Saturday, September 15, 2012

2013 City budget shows signs of stabilizing

After several months of meetings and discussions with City staff and the Rolla City Council regarding the proposed 2013 balanced City budget, the final reading of an ordinance to adopt the $30.36 million budget will be voted on at the next City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m.    
The budget outlook, particularly in the General Fund-supported services, remains tight, but does show signs of stabilizing after five years of a stagnant economy reflected in sales tax revenues. Currently the sales tax revenues for the City – year to date – are 2.3 percent, which is above the 2012 FY budget projected sales tax growth of 1 percent.
While the City’s budget appears to be higher that year’s past, the increase is due in large part to a $4 million lease financing agreement for UV Disinfection Improvements at the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant that will result in a corresponding sewer user fee increase of $.40/1,000 gallons of water. The budget increase also includes a substantial upgrade ($1 million) to the infrastructure at Rolla National Airport, which will include the construction of a new water tower, for aviation-related and business development.
 Other key elements of the proposed 2013 balance budget include:
  • The purchase of a new fire truck ($450,000) with 10-year lease financing
  • A 2% average compensation increase for full-time City employees (no increase in FY 2012)
  • Anticipated fee increases for Recreation Centre memberships, building permit fees and animal control fees
  • No increase in the City’s property tax levy
  • Elimination of the RMU payment in lieu of tax surcharge of .5% for street lighting. Street lighting costs of approximately $150,000 will be paid from the Street Capital Improvement Fund
  • Construction of a new vehicle maintenance and sanitation shop at the public services yard off N. McCutchen Drive
Sales tax revenues, which have a significant impact on the City’s financial condition, are showing signs of stabilizing after five years of stagnation, but City staff and City Council continue to remain vigilant, cautious, and focused on maintaining a balanced budget that meets the needs of the Rolla community. 
In closing, I’d like to remind Rolla citizens that the City of Rolla Environmental Services Department will hold a City-wide Clean-up on Saturday, Oct. 6. If you wish to participate, please place all items near the curb by 6 a.m. Items should not be placed at the curb more than 72 hours in advance or 3 days prior to the Oct. 6 pickup.
Examples of items that will be accepted are furniture, microwaves, televisions, old clothes, and normal household trash. Items that will not be accepted are appliances, water heaters, yard waste, tires, or construction debris such as sheet rock, shingles, concrete or rock. Loose items should be placed in boxes or bags and small pieces of lumber should be bundled. We ask that you do not place rollout trash containers at the curb on Oct. 6 because during this special City-wide Clean-up they will not be emptied. For more information, please call 364-6693.
Have a safe weekend and enjoy the great weather we are having in the Ozarks.

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