New Madrid 2008 City budget
NEW MADRID - In 2007, city officials worked to keep costs down, resulting in about a 10 percent cut in operating expenses, according to City Manager John Gilbert. Heading into the 2008 budget year, Gilbert said the city will continue to try to hold down expenses.
The budget, approved in December, estimates expenditures at $1,456,125 for the coming year while revenues are expected to be $793,511. A transfer of revenues of $660,000 from the Municipal Light and Power along with a $4,000 transfer from the O'Bannon Fund, will put the general fund in the black.
Gilbert explained budget revenues were estimated based on actual revenues from 2007 along with an additional $13,271.55 in gross receipts from franchise taxes from Verizon on a law suit settlement.
Expenditures are based primarily on actual expenditures from the preceding year with a few additions.
"We use the same principle as the state: underestimate revenues and overestimate on expenses," said Gilbert.
As part of the budget process, each department head was asked what new equipment or other items would be needed for the coming year. The costs were analyzed by Gilbert and the New Madrid Board of Aldermen to determine what could be worked into the expenditures for the coming year.
"There is not much as far as new items added to this year's budget," Gilbert said.
According to Gilbert, the budget seeing the biggest increase is the parks and public facilities.
An overhaul is planned at the O'Bannon Park. Playground equipment will be relocated and additional equipment, estimated at $6,349, will be purchased including a new jungle gym, sliding board, merry-go-round and see-saws.
The community building at the park will receive improvements. Plans call for it to be repainted and work to the windows. Also Gilbert noted a security camera will be added.
"We have asked the residents in the area to set up a community watch group," said Gilbert. "They will watch over the park as well."
A new pavilion will be constructed at the park on St. Ann at an estimated cost of $1,000 and work will continue on the development of the city's fishing lake, including the construction of two pavilions and handicap access.
A program employing local youth during the summer has proved so successful, Gilbert said the the Board agreed to expand it. The program provides employment for 32 hours a week assisting the city with projects such as painting and maintenance.
Set aside for city beautification is $3,500 which will fund the purchase of 24 crape myrtle trees and for concrete.
The city will no longer totally fund two events. The New Madrid County Lions Club will assist in providing funds for the Cabela's Catfish Tournament as well as the Shake, Rattle and Roll Festival.
This year's budget has set aside for funds for a new lawnmower for the street department and two backpack blowers which will be used to help maintain the city's cemeteries.
The budget for the police department includes funding to match a grant which will provide five bulletproof vests and the money which will also be partially funded by grant monies for a new dash-mounted video camera for a police vehicle.
For 2008, the budget does includes $16,570 for the Chamber of Commerce for services it provides. Also the city has agreed to purchase a new computer for the Chamber office.
In putting together the Municipal Light and Power Budget, city officials factored in a projected 20 percent increase in the cost for power purchased from Associated Electric Co. Inc. along with an expected increase in insurance costs for 2008, according to Gilbert.
Planned expenditures from the budget will include new hand-held radios for the electric department, a tire changer, a new roof for the water treatment plant, equipment designed to provide shoring for workers when digging trenches and $3,500 set aside to purchase a new blower for the sewer lagoon.
Revenues for the Municipal light and Power budget total $4,340,282, while expenditures are expected to be $3,483,766.
After assets/retaining earnings and total transfers to the city's funds of $745,000, the expected balanced in Municipal Light and Power is $37,540.