Homer city officials met last week to begin the process of setting a budget for the 2015 fiscal year. The proposed budget is very similar to the 2014 budget, due in part to prediction of low development next year. Officials are looking at a water department budget of $151,000, with $145,000 coming from water sales, $5,000 from other revenue and $1,000 from tap fees.
“Are we going to have any building this year, based on this (proposal), I would say no,” stated Mayor Doug Cheek.
The general fund budget is also proposed with little changes with a preliminary budget of $381,000.
With most line items remaining the same, insurance premium taxes are proposed to increase from $53,000 in 2014 to $55,000 in 2015. Changes in the general fund expense budget include an increase in employee insurance from $16,000 to $18,000 and an increase in professional fees from $14,000 to $15,000. A decrease in election expenses in the amount of $2,000 is also proposed.
Funds for library expense are proposed to remain at $25,500.
“We are happy to be able to do this (library) for the citizens,” reported Cheek.
The street department budget is proposed to see a decrease in repairs and maintenance from $11,500 to $10,500 and a decrease in street lights from $26,000 to $25,000. Sanitation department is to remain steady at $44,000. Fire department is proposing an increase in utilities from $5,500 to $8,000, an increase in equipment from $8,000 to $10,000 and an increase in supplies from $3,000 to $4,000 in the 2015 budget.
With David Dunson and Cliff Hill being the only council members present for the budget planning meeting, Mayor Cheek recommended discussion of payroll expenses be tabled until a full council is present. Budget hearings will be set at a later date and final approval of the budget should take place before July 1.