Proposed Crestwood budget for 2017 projecting deficit of $518,000

Board also plans to discuss amount of possible tax hike

By Mike Anthony

A draft 2017 budget that projects a deficit of roughly $518,000 was scheduled to be discussed this week by the Crestwood Ways and Means Committee.

The committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, and Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Government Center, 1 Detjen Drive. A third Ways and Means Committee meeting tentatively is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Government Center.

City Administrator Kris Simpson recently unveiled the draft 2017 budget to the Board of Aldermen. The budget projects total expenditures of $11,135,507 with anticipated revenues of $10,616,741 — a deficit of $518,766. An ending fund balance of $7,124,713 is projected on Dec. 31, 2017.

Aldermen voted last December to adopt a 2016 budget that projected total revenues of $10,707,316 with anticipated expenditures of $11,394,409 — a deficit of $687,093.

With a projected beginning fund balance of $6,940,812 on Jan. 1, an ending fund balance of $6,253,719 initially was projected on Dec. 31, 2016. Current estimates project an ending fund balance of $7,643,479 on Dec. 31, 2016.

As proposed, general fund revenues for 2017 total $7,712,827 with anticipated expenditures of $8,289,404 — a deficit of $576,575. With an estimated beginning fund balance of $4,604,418, an ending fund balance of $4,027,842 is projected.

Aldermen last year adopted a fund-balance policy mandating the city maintain a general fund reserve of no less than 45 percent. The proposed 2017 budget projects a general fund reserve of 48.6 percent.

“General fund expenditures are going to increase 1 percent over the 2016 budget,” Simpson told the Board of Aldermen Oct. 25. “That was the original budget. They’re actually increasing about 4 percent over what we’re projecting 2016 year-end to look like … It includes a 2-percent pay plan adjustment,” he said. “What you get in this budget — it will get you police accreditation. We will proceed with pursuing accreditation with the Missouri Police Chiefs (Association). We’re looking at acquiring public works management software. I believe this is something that will really help the city better manage its assets.

“Previously, we don’t have any way of looking at the history of say, a stretch of road, and how much maintenance it’s needed. Our current mechanism is cumbersome. This will allow us to do it in a much more modern fashion and make it much more efficient and get more life expectancy out of our assets.”

Carpet and roof work is planned for the Government Center, along with upgrades at Rayburn Park, he said.

As proposed for 2017, general fund personnel expenditures are projected at $6,435,335 — 6.5 percent more than an estimated $6,042,355 for 2016. Contractual general fund expenditures for 2017 are anticipated at $1,511,242 — 1 percent less than an estimated $1,536,857 for 2016.

General fund commodity expenses for 2017 are placed at $342,525 — 13 percent less than an estimated $395,838 for 2016.

Total general fund expenditures proposed for 2017 are 3.9 percent more than an estimated $7,975,050 for 2016.

As proposed for 2017, park and stormwater fund revenues total $1,725,327 with anticipated expenditures of $1,712,905 — a surplus of $12,422. With an estimated beginning balance of $756,552, an ending fund balance of $768,975 is anticipated.

Capital projects proposed for the parks and stormwater fund for 2017 include replacing/repairing the Community Center roof, $80,000; upgrading the Rayburn Park playground and paths, $55,000; renovating The Barn Restaurant, $30,000; and renovating the Community Center kitchen, $25,000.

As proposed for 2017, the capital improvement fund anticipates revenues of $1,040,387 with projected expenditures of $998,200 — a surplus of $42,187. With an estimated beginning fund balance of $2,018,780, an ending fund balance of $2,060,967 is projected.

Capital purchases totaling $385,200 are proposed in 2017 for the capital improvement fund.

Police Department expenditures proposed include two police vehicles, $58,432; police vehicle changeover costs, $14,693; seven body armor replacements, $5,425; ballistic panels, carries and equipment bags, $3,000; three Taser replacements, $2,700; and two shotgun replacements, $1,600.

Fire Department purchases proposed are one 12-lead monitor/defibrillator, $26,000; and personal protective equipment for sev-en firefighters, $16,350.

Proposed public works expenditures include a 2.5-ton dump truck, $132,000; a backhoe/loader, $120,000; and a sickle-bar mower, $5,000.

Capital projects totaling $107,000 are proposed for 2017, including renovating the Police Department’s upstairs bathrooms, $40,000; restoring five sections of the Government Center roof with a liquid membrane, $37,000; installing carpeting in the Police Department wing, $20,000; and replacing carpet in the administration section of the Government Center, $10,000.

For 2017, slab replacement totaling $506,000 is proposed in the capital improvement fund. Projects include selected replacement on Sturdy, $115,850; all of Silvercrest, $114,350; all of Banyon Tree, $105,850; all of Ulysses, $71,850; Barberton from Sturdy to Manda, $40,500; all of Winterbury, $36,350; and the Grant Oaks Court cul-de-sac, $21,250.

As proposed for 2017, the sewer lateral fund projects total revenues of $138,00 with anticipated expenditures of $135,00 — a surplus of $3,200. With an estimated beginning balance of $263,729, an ending fund balance of $266,929 is projected.

Aldermen also plan to discuss placing a tax-rate increase on the April 4 ballot during the Ways and Means Committee meetings.

Aldermen voted unanimously Oct. 25 to have City Attorney Lisa Stump draft an ordinance to place the tax-rate increase before voters.

But Ward 4 Alderman Tim Anderson’s motion to have Stump draft the ordinance did not specify an amount for a proposed tax-rate increase.

Aldermen spent roughly an hour Oct. 25 discussing the feedback they received from residents at an Oct. 18 town meeting.

Simpson recommends the board place a 75-cent tax-rate increase before voters.

During the board’s discussion, several aldermen indicated a preference for a ballot measure ranging from 40 cents to 50 cents.

The city administrator told elected officials in September that he projects a roughly $7.1 million cumulative deficit in the city’s general fund from 2017 to 2021.