DESLOGE — For the second budget year in a row Desloge is not expecting to see an increase in sales tax revenue. City Administrator Greg Camp said a tough economy is putting a strain on all local municipalities.
“I am budgeting flat as I am sure several other cities are,” he said. “If you end the year with a little bit more revenue then it goes into the reserve fund and you’re that much better off. It’s very tight right now. It’s tight for everybody right now.”
Camp said the city has $290,000 going out in the next budget year for notes payable. The notes include new fire truck and trash truck, phase one of the water system and the final installment for the purchase and renovation of city hall.
The construction of the Eastern Outer Road is also budgeted for the fiscal year.
“About $3.5 million is budgeted out of transportation capital and the stormwater fund to pay for the construction,” Camp said. “Of that, the city will be reimbursed $2.7 million. We have to pay the money out of the city’s budget up front.”
One of the biggest expenses the city is facing is a 19 percent health insurance premium increase for city employees.
“We are in a situation where we may have to look at giving up benefits to get a lower rate,” Camp said. “We are going to try to renegotiate the premiums, but we may have to alter our plan.”
He said a 3 percent cost of living increase for employees is in the budget.
“We’ve also budgeted $73,000 for the hiring of additional police officers through the federal COPS Program,” he said.
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program is a federal grant that will pay for the starting salaries and benefits of newly hired police officers for the first three years of their employment.
Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.