September 13, 2012

City Council Approves $4.2 Million Budget for 2012-13 Fiscal Year

With significant projects occurring at the municipal airport and with the street department and the addition of the new city sanitation department, the Memphis City Council moved forward with a projected $4.2 million budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The biggest chunk of that number involved the city's electric utility service, which is budgeted for $2.3 million. The bulk of that budget is for electric purchases, a projected $1.6 million, which is bought through the Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP) and resold to municipal customers.

The department maintains a payroll (including insurance, benefits, etc.) of approximately $350,000. Approximately $130,000 has been budgeted for supplies, poles, wire and transformers with the final $52,500 approved for the $625,00 substation construction project started in 2010.

The plans call for transfer of $120,000 to the electric reserve fund that will bring the reserve fund to $620,000, still below the recommended $2 million level.

The road and street department budget projects at $535,000 for the upcoming year. The biggest line item, is the $160,000 earmarked for street materials. That will include a $60,000 - $70,000 project to install hot mix on Sigler Avenue. The department maintains a payroll of approximately $150,000. The purchase of a new backhoe was also budgeted for $48,000. The department's back hoe will be transferred to the water department to replace its older machine, which will be traded in on the new purchase.

The third and final year of approved 10% rate increase for the water and sewer services has resulted in much needed financial flexibility for both departments.

The water department is projecting revenue streams that will allow transfers into the reserve fund for the first time since 2010. The department finished that budget year with a deficit, and has since rebounded from being $27,000 in the red to a projected $140,000 in the black in 2013.

The positive figures will allow the city to continue to rebuild reserve funds for looming major projects to upgrade the city's water treatment plant.

The same can be said on the other end of the pipe, where the sewer department also has seen a similar, if not quite as significant, turnaround. The sewer fund will make a $53,000 transfer to the reserve fund in 2013.

With a budget of $174,000, $25,000 will be allotted for sewer line maintenance. The department maintains an $80,000 payroll number.

The water department budget of $626,000 includes $375,000 for payroll. A total of $50,000 has been budgeted for water line maintenance with another $70,000 in place for chemicals and other materials for the treatment plant. The department will make a scheduled transfer of $53,000 into reserves.

Superintendent Stacy Alexander indicated the need for an upgrade to the plant's clear well, which will represent a significant capital improvement project for the future.

The newly formed trash department is budgeted for $192,000 in 2013. With a payroll of $70,000 the department is also budgeted to expend $37,000 in landfill fees and another $32,000 on fuel. There is a $9,000 reserve fund transfer budgeted along with a $21,000 loan repayment to the general fund for the start-up funding.

The resurfacing project for the Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport runway has ballooned the department budget to over $156,000. The bulk of those revenues are coming through a federal grant.

Facing a deficit budget of an estimated $20,000, the council agreed to eliminate the full-time park managers position. The board plans to consider a part-time administrator for the summer season to coordinate events in the city's parks.

Approximately $46,000 has been budgeted for the Lake department. That figure includes $30,000 for improvements to the campgrounds that are earmarked as part of a proposed shelter construction, dependent upon grant funding from the Department of Natural resources.

A solid financial year at the swimming pool under the direction of Allen Garrett has allowed the department's budget to expand to $56,000. Approximately half that figure involves salaries for lifeguards, but the city has also budgeted for the installation of a new chairlift, new chairs and a proposed security camera system.

The general fund budget came in at $282,000, of which $220,000 is earmarked for the police department. The lion's share of that later number, approximately $155,000 is utilized for payroll, with $23,000 going to the county for dispatching services. Approximately $18,000 has been budgeted in the general fund for computer upgrades at city hall.

The fire department budget of $30,000 will include $10,000 to pay one-third of the costs of a new Jaws of Life rescue equipment package. The costs will be shared by the city, rural fire corporation and the firemen.

The cemetery maintenance fund is budgeted for $50,000 in 2013 as the city plans to provide mowing at the cemetery instead of contracting for the service. Roughly $20,000 has been budgeted for purchase of two movers and two weed eaters. With the contract fee around $25,000 annually, the city hopes to witness cost savings by having the mowing performed by current employees. No additional manpower will be hired for the project.

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