The Commerce City Council got a quick but detailed look at the numbers that will make up the city’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget at its Monday night work session.
The fiscal year begins July 1. The city council expects to vote on the final document at its June 16 meeting and will hold a public hearing prior to its June 2 council meeting.
“It’s a balanced budget,” commented city manager Pete Pyrzenski Monday night. “That’s a fact I’m very proud of.”
It is also a budget with very little growth. “Pyrzenski used the word “flat” multiple times to describe the various departmental totals and line items.
“The economy and our numbers are still flat,” he began. “The digest is flat; there is no growth, therefore we have the same (money) to work with, which makes it very difficult.”
From the original budget requests, Pyrzenski said he and staff had to trim $420,000.
“The department heads and James (Wascher, finance director) met. There was some give and take, and some emotions. Did everyone get what they wanted? No. Did they compromise? Absolutely.”
The end result is a budget with total projected revenue just shy of $26 million — up a hair over $1 million from the current budget. The General Fund — which finances most city operations — is expected to have $6.3 million. This year it was budgeted to have almost $6 million, but actual revenue is projected at $5.7 million.
Property tax revenues are expected to remain flat, local option sales tax revenue likewise. A new line item — the Title Ad Valorem Tax — will pump $129,000 in new revenue into the budget. The budget calls transfers from the Gas Department and Electric Department to stay the same at $330,000 and $484,000 respectively. Utility department revenue is almost unchanged at $14.4 million.
As he went through the budget department by department, Pyrzenski pointed out “highlights” – mostly areas where the line item changed or was moved to another location.
The budget calls for $75,000 to begin construction of the new East Jackson Fire Station, assuming the city can hammer out the details with Jackson County (see separate story), and $190,000 for the proposed new walking trail and amenities at Veterans Memorial Park (funded by SPLOST) revenue. It also includes $5.6 million in capital expenditures spread among the departments. Among the capital projects are the construction of a sidewalk along Jefferson Road from Commerce Middle School to Lakeview Drive at a cost of $300,000 (funded by a grant) and $150,000 for road resurfacing (funded by SPLOST).