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2009-10-01 digital edition

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2009-10-01 / Front Page

City Adopts Balanced Budget

The Lexington City Council adopted a balanced budget for their fiscal year October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010, at their regular council meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.

According to the City's CPA, Doug Thielemann with Urban, Thielemann, Oltmann and Company, LLP, the approved budget has total expenditures of $2,570,438, a decrease of $236,666 from the previous year's budget. Most of this decrease is due to the fact that the prior year's budget included the sewer improvement project which was completed in the current fiscal year. The current year's budget also includes a 3% pay raise for the City's employees.

The General Fund budget has projected expenditures of $910,855, which is up by $94,597 from last year's budget of $816,258. Highlights of the General Fund Budget include the following:

• The City did not increase the property tax rate. The tax rate remained at .4609.

• The Police Department budget increased from $245,864 to $299,035, primarily due to a proposed hiring of a full time animal control officer and projected fully staffed police department.

• The Fire Department budget decreased from $37,800 to $37,700.

• The EMS budget remained the same as last year at $15,000, which represents the subsidy payment to the Lexington EMS each year.

• The Municipal Court budget increased from $50,468 to $58,702 and the Park Department budget decreased $2,829 from $17,548 to $14,629.

• The Street Department budget increased by $46,359, increasing from $141,893 to $188,252, due to planned street improvements, primarily the cemetery road.

The Utility Fund has projected expenditures of $1,659,583 which is down $227,364 from the previous year's budget of $1,886,947. This decrease is due to the completion of the sewer improvement project in the past year, with no major projects planned this year. Highlights of the Utility Fund include the following:

• The Electric Fund budget increased by $48,548 over the previous year, increasing from $1,207,837 to $1,256,382. This increase is due primarily to a projected increase in the cost of electricity passed on from the LCRA.

• The Water Fund budget increased by $85,291, from $169,977 to $255,268. The increase is due to repairs and improvements to the water system and for funds being set aside for future water well and water tower.

• The Sewer Fund budget decreased by $363,203 from $509,136 to $145,933. This decrease is due to the completion of the sewer project in the current year.

City residents are thrilled that the property taxes were not increased this year, considering last year's increase and today's economy.

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