$37.5M Morgan City budget presented
MORGAN CITY, La. — The city expects to spend about $580,000 more than it projects to take in during 2014 despite a $2.3 million increase in revenues from the 2013 budget, according to a $37.5 million proposed budget presented for the first time Tuesday.
The proposed budget includes almost $37 million in total revenues. The city plans to dip into its fund balance to make up for the deficit. The city’s fund balance has decreased from the 2012 ending balance of about $23.5 million to about $22.9 million for the 2013 amended budget. The 2014 ending balance is projected to be about $22.3 million.
Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said the 2014 budget shows a modest increase in revenues and a focus on decreasing operational expenses.
Grizzaffi gave the mayor’s annual budget message at Tuesday’s city council meeting
The 2014 budget takes into account 244 employees, but 14 of the positions are not filled as the city is attempting to operate with a smaller work force, saving the city about $375,000, Grizzaffi said.
“The 2 percent longevity raise has been included for all city personnel that have been employed by the city for one full year,” Grizzaffi said. “Increases in retirement system costs and health care costs have continued to be a major issue for our city to manage.”
The budget reflects the elimination of the city’s commercial dumpsters and decreased landfill costs, he said. The police department has expected increased revenue for jail operations with the addition of more parish prisoners, profits from commissary sales and a processing fee, Grizzaffi said. The additions are expected to decrease overall expenses by $100,000, he said. Police Chief Travis Crouch said the city jail is housing about 40 parish prisoners.
Lake End Park and Parkway have money in the budget to repair all the recreational vehicle camper lots and to replace outdoor barbecue pits, Grizzaffi said. The city has set aside money in the budget for furniture and accessories in anticipation of three new cabins projected to be finished in 2014 at Lake End Parkway, he said.
Some of the funded capital outlay items in the proposed budget include $300,000 for sewer rehab, $60,000 for police vehicles, and two rear-loading sanitation trucks for $200,000.
The city’s new transformer scheduled to be installed by the end of the year is being paid for by insurance money, Grizzaffi said. However, the budget also includes money for some additional safety measures to protect the transformer that have been paid for by a 2.25 mil power surcharge the council passed in December, he said.
The 2014 Budget Ordinance went through a first reading at the meeting. The city will have a budget workshop in November to discuss items in the budget, and then the budget is scheduled to be up for adoption at the November council meeting.
In other business, the council,
—Approved a resolution to change the November and December council meetings to Nov. 19 and Dec. 17.
—Approved a resolution to support “Red Ribbon Drug-Free Week” in St. Mary Parish from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27.
—Accepted the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Report.