• 82°

Demopolis City Council approves 2016-17 budget

The Demopolis City Council approved a $9.47 million budget for fiscal year 2016-17 during a meeting Thursday.
The budget reflects an increase in tax revenues over the budget passed a year ago. The FY 2016-17 tax revenue was approved at 7.3 million. State shared revenue is projected at $1.2 million for the upcoming budget year.
The new budget reflects a decrease of about $500,000 in expenditures from the prior year budget. Last year’s expenditures was set at $8.87 million while the new budget was approved at $8.39 million. The fire department budget is down about $300,00 from prior year with other decreases in building department, airport, park and recreation, as well as the city’s debt service. Departments that will see increases over the current year budget include general government, horticulture, and the public library.
The total budget reflects a $1.07 million difference between revenue and expenditures.
As for the current year-end projections, the city is looking at about an $800,000 increase from actual revenue compared to the budget, while expenditures are up about $500,000 compared to budget. The city is projecting a $427,000 positive difference between the current year revenue and expenditures.
The budget passed with a unanimous vote.
“The finance committee had good discussions during the budgeting process. I think it is a good budget and that it addresses our departments’ needs,” said Councilman Bill Meador, who serves on the finance committee with Councilman Charles Jones and Mayor Mike Grayson.
Other items discussed by the council included:
• a grant for the Demopolis Fire Department. Fire Chief Vernon Waters said the department was approved for a $148,000 grant to purchase breathing apparatuses for firefighters. The city would match the grant with $6,700 and the fire department with another $7.000. The item was tabled until the next council meeting.
• City Attorney Bill Poole reported on dilapidated housing. He said one bid of $2,950 was received to demolish a concrete block building at the intersection of Arcola and Second streets. That bid was approved by the council.
• Discussions continued on Roman Alley access where the city is exploring the option of purchasing property to allow a connection to Pettus Street. Poole reported that one property owner indicated willingness to sell while another did not. No action was taken.
• approving a bid for a lease agreement with John Deere for the purchase of a tractor at $1,108 per month for a three-year lease. The tractor will be used by the Park and Recreation Department.
• approving a new member to the Demopolis Industrial Development Board. The council suspended the rules to allow a vote, which passed unanimously, on appointing Chip Hammonds to that board, replacing Stephen Morgan who resigned.
• tabled a discussion on an appointment to the Planning Commission Board. Max Bailey is resigning his position on that board.
• approving a public assembly for the Demopolis High School DECA Club to host a 5K fundraising for the American Heart Association on Nov. 12.
• approving a public assembly permit for the DHS homecoming parade to be held Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.