2011 budget only increasing .006 percent, mill levy remains same as last year
By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
During Tuesday evening’s regular city commission meeting, Financial Director Chris Ford brought the proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year before commission for approval. Not only was Ford proud to announce the mill levy will remain at 43.094 for another year, the prepared budget was only $190,128 greater than the 2010 budget.
“You have before you tonight the proposed 2011 budget that the staff has worked and put together,” Ford said to the commission. “The commission has dedicated quite a bit of time into this budget. Basically for 2011, we are requesting a total budget of $30,691,857, this will include a levy amount of $4,646,559 or an estimated 43.094 mills.”
Due to an increase in valuation, Ford said additional funds will be available to the city without raising the mill levy.
“I do want to point out that our valuation did increase slightly,” he said. “So we do anticipate receiving an additional $57,552 with no increase in the mill levy from last year’s amount.”
Ford added that in November, new numbers will determine the assessed valuation.
“I want to remind the commission that on Nov. 1, 2010, the assessed valuation will be determined for which our number of mills necessary to fund our dollar request is subject to change,” he said. “However, the levied dollars will not change.
“In other words, our $4,646,559, to generate that amount we estimated 43.094 mills which was off of the July 1 valuation that we received from the county,” he explained. “That is an estimated amount. So basically what will happen in November, the county will assess how many mills it will take to generate that $4.6 million.”
Ford attributed the positive budget numbers to city staff’s penny pinching. He also expressed gratitude to the city commission for making city staff accountable for each dollar spent.
“I do want to point out my appreciation to my fellow staff members,” he said. “They do an excellent job in trying to overcome the rise in cost in doing business. Basically, the overall cost of doing business is going up. They are trying to find ways to either pool our purchases or bid out certain expenses and so on.
“Also, thanks to the commission for your oversight on that,” he added. “We are able to continually search for ways to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of the services we provide.”
Commissioner Larry Koochel said the commission and city staff working together makes a rather profound difference when it comes to crunching numbers.
“I know the commission has been concerned about certain expenditures,” Koochel said. “By working together, we have been able to maintain, basically, the same things we had last year. I think everyone is responsible. I think a lot of the credit goes to the city manager and (Chris Ford) and your staff. I am just glad to be part of a smooth operation here.”
Vice Mayor Joe Denoyer echoed Koochel’s sentiments. A team, he said, is everyone involved, from the mayor all the way down to city workers operating machinery.
“It takes an entire team: commissioners, city manager, Chris (Ford) and staff all the way down to everyone else,” Denoyer said. “If the guys on the streets and in the trenches didn’t take care of equipment, we would have to be replacing a lot more. We appreciate their diligence in doing that and keeping the numbers down. I appreciate staff’s hard work, I really do.”
The budget for the 2011 fiscal year was approved by all commissioners present at Tuesday evening’s meeting. Commissioner Bob Carlile was absent.
“It is quite a privilege to work with the staff we have, it makes our job very easy,” Mayor Tim Long said as he addressed city staff. “You make us shine with the job you do. You guys work very hard and have great diligence.”