2013 city budget is less than $4 million

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Nov. 13, the Cassville City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to adopt a conservative budget that includes less than $4 million in expenditures for 2013. If the second reading of the ordinance is approved next month, the city will operate under a budget that is nearly three-quarters of a million dollars lower than last year's spending plan.

Total 2013 general fund revenue is estimated at $1,379,912, which is nearly $600,000 less than last year's projected general fund revenue.

During the meeting Monday night, Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, asked the council for permission to add the remaining COP (certificates of participation) funding for the meter replacement project to the 2013 budget. Cooper said that $300,341.55 would be added to both the projected revenue and expenditures.

General fund operating, capital and debt service expenses are estimated to equal revenues in 2013. The largest general fund expense is the city payroll, which will account for $971,714 of total expenditures. The budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living raise for all full-time employees.

The 2013 budget includes $140,742 in general fund capital project expenses. The largest capital projects include the purchase of a patrol vehicle and equipment for $30,000 and street improvements for Chappell Drive and 15th and Presley to Townsend, which will cost $21,336 and $39,406 respectively.

Other approved capital improvements include: two rifles, $2,000; two handguns, $1,300; video and digital video recording equipment for the Cassville Police Department interview room, $5,000; computers for the police department, $2,500; a roof repair at the airport, $1,000; a safety slide pad, pool repair, American Disability Act handrails and pool lounge chairs for the Cassville Aquatic Park, $15,500; a parking lot repair and an all-terrain vehicle for the parks department, $11,800; and new barricades and a sand and salt spreader for the streets department, $10,900.

On Monday night, the council also approved a $4,800 capital improvement expenditure to double chip and seal the gravel street between Meadow Valley and Clover Drive. Funding for the additional capital improvement will come from a $17,000 contingency in the general fund, which was earmarked for administrator benefits.

Aldermen Jeff Parsons, Terry Heinz and Darrell Ledenham approved the expenditure. Alderman Ann Hennigan voted against the budget addition.

A total of $287,771 of the $403,900 in revenue projected to be received from the city's Capital Improvement Sales Tax will be designated for debt service. The remaining $116,219 will be used for capital improvements. An additional $24,523 will be transferred to the capital fund from the general fund.

The city also has $52,632 in Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) grant funds available for airport improvements.

In addition, the budget includes $126,250 in capital improvements for the water and sewer departments. The budget predicts that $35,730 in extra funds will be available for water expenditures and $45,534 will be available for sewer expenditures.

Water department capital improvement projects include: a meter reader truck, $25,000; a roof repair for well 1C, $2,000; and a handheld GPS unit, $10,000.

The following expenditures were approved for the wastewater treatment center: a sludge room bench and lights, $1,000; an air compressor and air tools, $8,000; an influent flow meter, $1,500; a diversion box, $2,000; south bank UV lamps, $1,500; and sludge pump repair kits, $2,250.

A credit card system will also be purchased for the water and sewer departments. The expenditures will be shared between the departments and will total $7,000.

Expenditures approved for the sewer collections system were: relining of eight manholes, $8,000; replacing five manholes, $8,000; and replacing or relining one sewer line, $50,000.

The 2013 budget includes $105,620 in grant revenue. In addition to the airport improvement grant, the Cassville Police Department anticipates receiving a total of $55,620 in grant funding through the following grant programs: DWI Enforcement; COPS; seatbelt grant; LLEBG/JAG Grant; and Cyber Crime Grant.

According to the approved budget, the city expects to receive $1,613,714 in water and sewer fund revenues in 2013. Water fund expenses are expected to total $625,349 and sewer fund expenses are budgeted at $907,101 for 2013.

Sam MacDonald, of McLiney and Company addressed the aldermen on Monday night to discuss options for restructuring the city's 2000 bond, which was used to finance the Cassville Aquatic Park.

MacDonald suggested the council pursue a bond issue in April of 2013. If the city were to receive approval, current debt could be restructured at a much lower interest rate in order to save a significant amount of money over the next three years, said MacDonald. The final bond payment is due in February of 2015.

MacDonald also discussed the possibility of restructuring the 2010 COP bonds in 2013.

Mayor Bill Shiveley asked MacDonald to prepare a spreadsheet with information on cost savings. The issue will be discussed further at the council's December meeting.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Approved the second readings of ordinances that establish the Cassville Green Community Program and allow the city to join the Missouri Clean Energy District.

* Selected Decker and DeGood CPA to conduct the city's 2012, 2013 and 2014 fiscal year audits.

* Approved a new contract with Allied Waste Services for waste collection and disposal. The contract does not include a rate increase for residential customers but does require all residential customers to use Allied Waste containers at the standard monthly rate of $14.75.

* Tabled a discussion on personnel policies.

* Approved the first reading of an ordinance that eliminates phantom meters at apartment complexes located in the city.

* Voted to partner with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Cassville Area of Chamber of Commerce for a $500 membership in the Springfield Regional Economic Partnership. The city will only be responsible for one-third of the membership fee.

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