Green Park Board of Aldermen approves ’09 budget with total surplus of $17,306

Pousosa requests aldermen weigh business-license issue

By BURKE WASSON

Green Park aldermen last week unanimously approved a 2009 budget projected to generate a total surplus of $17,036.

While city officials expect less revenue in 2009, they also have made cuts to help offset that expected loss.

The general fund is expected to collect $1,080,050 in revenue, down from 2008’s revenue estimate of $1,225,374.

At the same time, spending in the general fund is budgeted to drop from an estimated $1,151,945 during 2008 to $1,073,014 in 2009.

In the capital-improvements fund, $420,000 is anticipated to be collected in revenue for 2009, up from the 2008 estimate of $397,413.

Expenditures in the capital-improvements fund are budgeted to drop from an estimated $532,632 in 2008 to $410,000 in 2009.

The general-fund balance is projected to climb in 2009 from $3,162,081 to $3,235,510 while the balance for the capital-improvements fund is expected to grow from $357,084 this year to $367,084 next year.

While nearby cities like Crestwood, Fenton and Sunset Hills will dip into cash reserves in 2009 to balance budgets that each forecast more expenditures than revenues, Green Park’s total cash reserves are expected to grow in 2009 from an expected $3,592,594 on Jan. 1 to $3,609,630 by Dec. 31, 2009.

Some cuts included in Green Park’s 2009 budget are specialized engineering services dropping from $176,000 in 2008 to $57,000 in 2009 and engineering fees dropping from $140,000 in 2008 to $80,000 in 2009.

Some increases in the city’s 2009 budget include administrative wages rising from $70,428 in 2008 to $91,114 in 2009, health insurance rising from $6,024 in 2008 to $13,800 in 2009 because of the addition of one full-time employee, road maintenance rising from $113,000 in 2008 to $150,000 in 2009, temporary slope-construction licenses on Green Park Road rising from $6,000 in 2008 to $23,000 in 2009, and police services rising from $233,000 in 2008 to $245,000 in 2009.

In other business Dec. 15, Ward 1 Alderman Anthony Pousosa requested that the city’s administration place on the January agenda a long-tabled decision on whether business licenses should be established by the city.

While officials conducted several meetings early in 2008 to discuss business licenses, aldermen have yet to take any action.

Ward 2 Alderman Tim Thuston, who chaired the committee that studied business licenses, recommended in May that because of the ambiguous nature and variety of business-license structures throughout St. Louis County, he would prefer an administrative fee rather than licenses.

During a June work session, aldermen discussed various ways to establish an administrative fee.

City Attorney Paul Rost estimated during that work session that the annual fee for businesses would be roughly $30 to $50 based on the manpower it would take to collect those fees and compile a directory of businesses.

Mayor Tony Konopka indicated in June that some industrial businesses in the Commerce Center would be willing to pay an annual fee of $200 to $250.