Purdy city council approves raises

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Raises only planned increase in new fiscal year's budget

Anticipating growth in sales tax revenue, the Purdy City Council passed a budget for the city's fiscal year, beginning July 1.

The budget did not include the final planned sewer rate increase needed before proceeding with the planned sewer

project or any major capital improvements.

According to projections, general revenue income will grow by around $25,000 or 17 percent, due almost entirely to an increase in sales tax income. A slight increase in franchise fees and court fines and income will cover the rest of the growth.

Council members approved a 3 percent increase in wages for the city clerk/court clerk, the two public works employees and the two police officers. The increase represents approximately $10,000. The budget included anticipated health insurance increases of approximately 25 percent, or nearly $9,200.

Police Chief Jackie Lowe cited concern about continued maintenance costs on the city's police car, which has 93,000 miles. Mayor Steve Roden said replacement costs for a police car would come from general fund reserves. The city also had around $100,000 set aside for street repairs. Another $150,000 was available from the street and public works budgets from the 2014-2015 fiscal year, and another $85,000 from the coming year, drawing from both the street and utilities budgets.

The new budget projected spending $95,480 for general operations; $91,320 for running the police department; $50,000 for sanitation, fully covered by fees; $4,700 on the park, $199,050 for running the water system; and $167,400 for running the sewer system.

The only major budget shift came at the recommendation of the auditor, moving pay and benefits for one person, approximately $21,000 in salary, from sewer to the general fund.

The discussed sewer rate increase would add $5 to the minimum rate, raising an additional $1,905 a year from the city's 390 sewer customers. The increase would raise the average bill for 5,000 gallons to $45. Based on calculations to qualify the city for federal grant money, the city must have a rate of $51.83.

Roden said voters will also have to pass a bond issue to pay for building a sewer main to Monett to substitute for the city's sewer system that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has declared inadequate. DNR has not yet approved the final plan. Roden said it is possible the proposal will not go to voters before August 2016, placing it in the following fiscal year.

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