Green Park board to consider approval of 2014 budget

By Mike Anthony

The Green Park Board of Aldermen will consider the approval of a 2014 budget next week that projects a surplus of more than $50,000 in the general fund.

Aldermen are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at City Hall, 11100 Mueller Road.

The proposed 2014 budget projects general fund revenues totaling $1,080,340 with anticipated expenditures of $1,029,624 — a surplus of $50,716.

City officials project an ending balance of $3,204,955 in the general fund on Dec. 31, 2014. Of that amount, $2,764,955 is unreserved.

For the capital improvements fund, the proposed budget anticipates revenues of $410,000 with expenditures of $400,000 — a surplus of $10,000. For 2014, city officials project an ending balance of $39,573 in the capital improvements fund.

Across both major funds, the proposed budget projects total revenues of $1,490,340 with anticipated expenditures of $1,429,624 — a surplus of $60,716.

Revised figures for the city’s 2013 general fund budget anticipate revenues of $1,163,640 with projected expenditures of $1,397,305 — a deficit of $233,665.

For 2013, city officials estimate an ending balance of $3,154,239. Of that amount, $2,714,239 is unreserved.

In the capital improvements fund, officials project an ending balance of $29,573 for 2013.

Projected 2014 revenue in the general fund includes $340,000 in sales taxes, $265,000 in electric utility taxes, $126,000 in telecom utility taxes and $100,000 from the road and bridge tax.

For 2013, officials project Green Park will collect $325,000 in sales tax, $270,000 in electric utility taxes, $126,000 in telecom utility taxes and $100,000 from the road and bridge tax.

As proposed, the three largest expenditures in the general fund for 2014 are $225,600 for police services, $225,600 for the city’s residential waste program and $150,000 for road maintenance.

For the current year, the three largest expenditures in the general fund include $410,000 for street replacement/repairs, $223,446 for police services and $213,870 for the residential waste program.

Aldermen discussed the proposed 2014 budget during a Dec. 3 work session.

City Administrator/City Clerk Zella Pope told the board that after she completes the draft budget, she sends it to Mike Williams of Hochschild, Bloom & Co., the city’s auditor, for review.

Regarding the projected deficit in the general fund for the current year, Pope said that is mostly due to capital improvements completed during 2013 and City Hall moving to a new location.

City Hall previously was located in Suites 2 and 3 of the Green Park Professional Building, 11100 Mueller Road. This summer, City Hall moved to Suites 5 and 6 of the same building, nearly double the amount of space.

The city previously paid $15 per square foot for Suites 2 and 3 — $38,100 per year.

Under the new five-year lease agreement, the city is paying $14 per square foot — $70,570 per year.

“… When you look at the bottom line, our total ending balance is still over $3 million,” Pope said.

City Attorney Paul Rost said, “… I think the key thing for the 2014 budget is that it will show an ending balance of $50,000 of revenues over expenses.”

The 2013 budget adopted in December 2012 projected a general fund deficit of nearly $190,000. Though that deficit increased to more than $233,000, Rost said, “Next year, it will actually be back to a positive number. Again, in 2009 you had the same type of thing based on capital expenditures on roads and things like that.

“When you’ve got a $3 million surplus, your goal is not to continue to grow that … This year, based on finishing up some of the Green Park Road stuff and doing the final pieces of the residential streets, you already knew you were going to spend a little more this year than you had coming in …,” the city attorney continued. “Like I said, when you’ve got $3 million in the bank, that’s OK. That’s what it’s for … It’s for these projects and these things that you’re doing …”