Aldermen Adopt New Budget on First Reading

June 2, 2008
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night adopted on first reading the proposed 2008-2009 budget.

The vote was 3 to 1 in favor. Aldermen Cecil Burger, Steve White, and Jerry Hutchins, Sr. voted in favor while Alderman Willie Thomas voted no. Alderman Tonya Sullivan was absent.

The new budget totals $6-million 041thousand 360 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at 68 cents per $100 of assessed value until the aldermen consider approval of the new certified tax rate, which will be 62 cents as the result of property reappraisal.

The new budget calls for the water and sewer rates to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $3.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $3.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are 50% higher. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District is $1.80 per thousand gallons but will increase to $1.85 for January 1st, 2009 sales.

City sewer customers, under the new budget, will continue to pay the flat usage rate of $3.62 plus $3.25 per thousand gallons thereafter.

Water tap fees for customers inside the city limits is $400 for a three quarter inch water line and the sewer tap fee is $400 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, the fees are cost plus 10%. For customers outside the city limits, water tap fees are $525 for a three quarter inch line and $525 for a four inch sewer line. Again, if the lines are larger, then the fees are cost plus 10%.

The proposed budget calls for city employees with up to four years of service to get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale plus a 4.3% cost of living increase. City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale will only get the 4.3% cost of living increase.

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $949,000. Specific projects are as follows: Financial Administration- $7,500 including $5,000 for a computer upgrade and $2,500 unspecified; Parks and Recreation- $25,000 unspecified; Public Works/Buildings and Grounds- $15,000 unspecified; City Hall Building Alteration per ADA- $10,000 including $5,000 for handicapped rehabilitation and $5,000 unspecified; Fire Protection- $10,000 unspecified; Street Department- $40,000 including $10,000 for downtown beautification and $30,000 unspecified; Police Department- $14,000 unspecified; Swimming Pool- $10,000 for capital repairs; Airport- $810,000 unspecified (grant funds); Animal Shelter- $5,000 unspecified; Sanitation Fund- $5,000 and Drug Fund- $5,000 unspecified.

Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: 2 trucks- $10,000; an update of sewer plant equipment- $40,000; an update of the water plant and engineering fees- $300,000; a sewer rehabilitation camera-$20,000. Debt repayment-principal: bonds- $210,000

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

Second and final reading action will follow a public hearing at the meeting on Monday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

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