September 11, 2008

City Council Approves $4.6 Million Budget For 2008-09

A $4.6 million budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year was approved by the Memphis City Council on September 4th after nearly a month of financial meetings by the council.

The budget was approved by a 3-1 vote with Alderman James Parker casting the lone nay.

I just want to go on record as being opposed to the budget, he stated. We are authorizing a 50-cent raise across the board for all city employees and I think that sends the wrong message in these hard times. Ive also suggested that we reduce our police department. We are spending a lot of money on police and Im not convinced people know how much we are spending on the coverage.

The biggest chuck of the budget is the electric plant, which is expected to see $2.7 million in expenditures.

The general revenue fund is allocated $600,000 in revenue, with just over $250,000 budgeted for the police department. Transfers out will go to the park, lake and airport funds as well. The road and street department budget is $406,000 for 2008-09 with $645,000 in expenditures predicted for the water and sewer department.

Cemetery maintenance accounts for $48,945 this year with $5,000 budgeted to repaint the cemetery gates.

Other budget amounts include $29,441 for the swimming pool. With revenues anticipated at approximately $44,000 the pool is expected to take another step forward in its fifth season to recover construction costs, leaving the balance just $5,500 in the red.

The fire department is budgeted for $22,400 in expenditures that cover insurance and equipment and building maintenance.

A total of $23,891 is anticipated for lake expenditures, which will include rock for the adjacent access roads and a plan for restocking walleye at the Lake Show Me.

Park projects including the rubber matting on the playground equipment have pushed the park budget to $32,025 this year.

Alderman Chris Feeney suggested the city consider the possibility of creating the position of a city administrator based on the size and complexity of the budget.

Right now we have four part-time elected officials deciding the future of a $4.6 million business, he said. If I owned a company of that size, I think I would want a full-time CEO.

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