City approves $12.8 million budget

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Greenville City Council approved a $12.8 million budget for fiscal year 2010-11 on Monday night.

The budget represents an increase of $1.5 million over last year’s budget, said City Clerk Sue Arnold. However, the additional amount in budgeted expenditures is expected to come through grant funding, she said.

For example, capital outlays for purchasing five new police cars for the city, a grant application that the council also approved on Monday.

Mayor Dexter McLendon said city officials expect minimal growth in tax revenue for 2010-11.

“This is a larger budget and it’s a balanced budget,” he said. “If you look at our numbers, sales tax and lodging tax was actually up last year, but not when you compare it to two years ago. In fact, summer sales tax and lodging tax was actually a disappointment to me.”

The city has joined with Evergreen, McKenzie and Georgiana in a suit against BP to collect lost sales tax revenue due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April.

The city budgeted $5.8 million last year in expected sales tax. As of Sept. 30, the city will have received $5.4 million, but Arnold said approximately $400,000 is still outstanding from the state due to the lapse between collection and reimbursement to municipalities. For fiscal year 2010-11, the city budgeted an even $6 million in expected sales tax. The city expects to collect $9.1 million in taxes the next fiscal year.

The city also amended the fee schedule for building permits and budgeted $10,000 for building permits and $12,000 for permit and inspection fees.

“We did go up on the costs for building a house,” said McLendon. “We looked at other cities around us and we’re still lower than other cities like Troy, Andalusia and Montgomery.”

McLendon said the increase in building fees is the first since 1998.

A complete schedule of fees can be obtained from the city clerk’s office.

In other business:
– The council authorized the police department to make an application to the USDA for a 2011 Rural Development Grant in the amount of $91,199 to purchase five police cars and related equipment. The grant will provide 55 percent of the total project. The city will provide 45 percent in the form of a local match of $80,344.

–  The council approved a payment for $28,983 for the Hwashin Industrial Access Road project, the final such pay request for a project that was awarded in 2006 and completed by ALDOT. The total cost of the project was $1.2 million.

– Approved the following expenditures: $12,125.15 to Alabama Steel, an amended amount and less than the original cost of $17,992 for materials to frame and roof the building on 215 Administrative Dr., future home of the Greenville Police Department; $4,026 to Sable Steel for additional materials to frame and roof the said building; $2,363.50 to Southern Frame & Alignment, Inc. for a brake job to Fire Engine No. 32; $8,454.87 to Comm-Serv, Inc. for labor, materials, and supplies to relocate the police department’s two-way radio system from City Hall to its future home; $1,800 to Southern Roofing Co. for labor and materials to repair the Old Train Depot terra cotta roof.