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City will spend down bonds to fund expenditures

The 2009-2010 budget for Park Hills, which starts Thursday, includes pay raises for city workers, a $1.2 million water and sewer project, and new lights at the city’s Sports Complex.

To help fund all the projected expenditures, the city will spend down to zero the remaining $389,000 of $9 million in bonds from about four years ago, City Administrator John Kennedy said.

The budget projects $11,771,495 in expenditures. Of that, $9,979,943 is actual expenditures and the rest consists of transfers between funds. Projected revenues are $7,301,316. The deficit will be covered by reserve funds. The figures reflect an increase over last year of $503,591 in expenditures and a decrease of $93,488 in projected revenues.

Many financial analysts recommend that cities set aside two months of reserve funds to cover unexpected cash flow needs, Kennedy said. Park Hills has 5.5 months of reserve funds.

The sewer project will take the bulk of the $1,338,046 in capital improvement funds.

“We have been accumulating reserves in capital improvements for a water and sewer project in the annexation area by the Fairgrounds,” Kennedy said. “That will cost about $1.2 million. We plan to open bids in late October and hope to begin construction in November or early December.”

Other projects under capital improvements are a $60,000 project to reconstruct the storm water drainage ditch along Gumbo Street, construction of a new $40,000 animal shelter, and $14,200 for computer hardware upgrades. Drug impound revenues will pay for two new police cruisers and associated equipment. The city also plans to replace the booster pump near the Fairgrounds with a larger pump this year.

Sales tax receipts were up this year, most likely due to a business in the annexed area and more people shopping in the grocery store instead of eating out, Kennedy said. The city has a one percent general sales tax and .5 percent taxes for capital improvements, transportation and parks and storm water.

Motor vehicle sales tax was down nearly $8,000 because sales of new cars dropped, Kennedy added. Gas tax was down nearly $10,000, most likely because high gas prices led residents to cut back on driving. In the past two months, proceeds from the gas tax have been up, he added.

The Parks Department will spend $275,000 to replace the existing 30-year-old lighting system at the Sports Complex. The current lights only meet minimum standards and are positioned in a way that blinds players on the opposite field, Kennedy explained.

The new lights not only will be of better quality, their placement will allow the city to move back the fences in the softball fields in order to meet regulations. That project could begin this winter. In any case, it will not interfere with games, as the existing lights can be left up until the new ones are installed and ready to use.

City workers will receive a 2.5 percent pay raise. Although insurance costs rose for the upcoming year, the city has absorbed that cost and employees’ share will not increase.

Other improvements scheduled in the new budge include renovation of the kitchen in the Senior Center, a new sanitation truck, a new pavilion in Columbia Park, a new diving board and umbrellas at the city pool and more than $300,000 in street improvements.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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