Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mayor Kant Presents Final City Budget

Fairhope, Alabama

Publisher's note: This post will be updated if/when more information is released by the city.

Burrrell, Brewer, Kant


Mayor Kant presented his proposed FY 2017 budget to the city council last week, including a 2% cost-of-living pay increase for all employees and selective merit raises (a total 3% personnel cost increase).

Kant said the annual budget is just a guide for the council which must still vote on most individual expenditures.

Since  the council may not have time to approve it (or make changes) before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1st. -- this year's budget may need to be extended for a while via a continuing resolution.

Boone, Ford (l-r)
Based on figures mentioned during the discussion, overall projected revenue is about $64.8 million and expenses $60.1 -- with a $4.7 million surplus.

(The Times has requested the actual document from the city clerk to confirm the numbers: check back here for updates)

An overall 7% property tax revenue increase is projected; there is currently $7 million in the city's emergency fund.

Lodging tax is projected to be lower due to expected room closures/renovations at the Grand Hotel.

Other highlights include funding for:

* Additional city staff (Planning, Public Works, Recreation Depts)
* Employee healthcare costs up $700K (even with individual deductable increases)
* Debt reduction for utilities only
* Upgrades to the landfill (nearing capacity)
* Upgraded employee compensation study
* A master plan for Volanta Park recreation
* A new fire truck ($485K)
* Five new police vehicles and replace in-vehicle cameras.
* New garbage and recycling trucks (A new route and 400 new customers were added just this year)
* An additional $350K for area schools (per EAC's recommendation)

Major capital spending projects proposed:

* Fly Creek marina seawall ($175K budgeted)
* Lights for the new tennis courts ($190K)
* Quail Creek clubhouse repairs
* Library repairs ($360K)
* Soccer complex restrooms/concession stand/locker rooms ($300K)
* Parking deck improvements ($250K)
* Golf path improvements ($100K)


Kant warned the council of major utility plant maintenance issues that need to be addressed, including:

*Upgrades to electrical substations and overhead wiring in the vicinity of Thomas Hospital costing from $4 to 8 million (current internal funding is not sufficient to pay for it all due to the purchase of the Dyas triangle property exclusively using electric department revenue)

*Sixteen miles of cast iron natural gas pipes still need to be replaced: a federal mandate to prevent explosions (cost about $4 million)

*The east water tower needs to be painted (cost $1million)

*Sewer lift station upgrades ($2 million)

Kant was not elected to a fifth term: new mayor Karin Wilson takes office on November 7th.


Anonymous said...

Those folks have gotten everything fouled up. They should wait and let the new crew do it!

Anonymous said...

Any thing for paving roads this year?

Anonymous said...

Why did the city purchase property with Utility funds? That makes no sense when utility upgrades are necessary.

Anonymous said...

A million dollars to paint the water tower?

Publisher said...

Utility "profits" are put to many uses as the city council sees fit.

Yes, it costs a million dollars to paint one water tower: quite a complex operation but necessary to prevent corrosion.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone in charge tell Gillespie to take his hat off inside??

Anonymous said...

Gilespie IS in charge. Besides ... he's got that short-timer's attitude .... retiring .

Anonymous said...

Jack's golfin' buddies get whatever they want these days .....

Anonymous said...

Hope our new city leaders will tell us the truth about everything for a change.

Anonymous said...

Some mighty big egos in that picture to.

Dick said...

Yes one million for the water tower....Check with someone that handles workers comp......