NEWS HEADLINES

Boyd City Council begins budget talks

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

Boyd city officials took a first look Tuesday at the financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

During the city council’s regular meeting, City Administrator John Hamilton presented preliminary numbers.

Taking into account the proposed 51-cent tax rate, general fund revenue is tabbed at $1,330,450 – up from $1,235,612 this current year.

Water/wastewater fund income is anticipated to increase more than $100,000 – from $578,594 to $707,224. A proposed 50-cent per-month, per-meter increase will contribute to that.

“We’ve been in the red with water and sewer for years and years,” Mayor Rod Bill Scroggins said. “So what we’ve been doing to make it easier on the public is adding $1 a year. We’re talking about lowering that $1 to 50 cents this year.”

Expenses in the administration fund are projected to increase from $380,056 this year to $455,596, while building inspections department costs are tabbed at $19,640, up $4,000.

Community center expenditures are up to $21,050; municipal court, $87,132; police department, $490,851; and streets, $172,828.

Parks, the only department with a decrease, is expected to spend $16,875; and water/wastewater, $707,224.

Library expenditures will climb from $48,628 to $66,478, largely due to the allotment of $1,200 a month for building rent.

Damage from an ice storm in January forced the library’s closure, and a new location has not yet been found.

Other budget requests include:

  • $6,000 for a new copier for City Hall. Councilman Mark Culpepper urged city staff to explore leasing options as well.
  • $10,000 for a codification upgrade to be split between the administration and police departments.
  • $10,000 for a new phone system, divided between all departments.

“What staff is asking is, here’s how much money you’ve got, what are your priorities?” Hamilton said.

Scroggins immediately identified the library.

“As soon as we figure out how to get the books in a place, looking at what it’s going to cost us to get a replacement library, maybe looking at building one, whether it’s adding to [the community center],” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Holmes agreed, adding that he would like to see major improvements to Knox Avenue. This would include sidewalks and drainage work.

“That’s the most utilized road that would make a big statement to our citizens that we’re trying to do something,” he said.

City officials also said making improvements to the community center – painting, installing efficient lighting, updating air conditioning units, replacing ceiling tiles, improving the restrooms – and giving employees raises were their priorities.

The council will further discuss the budget at its next meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2.

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