Council approves budget

Published 10:44 pm Friday, September 30, 2011

The Greenville City Council approved a $14,485,503 budget for FY2011-2012.

The budget represents a $1.7 million increase over the budget approved by the Council for FY2010-2011.

Mayor Dexter McLendon said the budget increase is due to a number of grants the city has received for various projects, including improvements to the industrial access road leading to Hwashin America and the transportation enhancement grant for the courthouse roundabout.

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“It looks like a big increase, but it’s really not,” McLendon said. “The difference is the grants. They have to be included in the budget and they make things look different, but the truth is we just have a lot going on right now.”

McLendon said that grants must be included in both revenue and expenditure columns.

“It’s money we will have to spend, but that we will be reimbursed for,” McLendon said.

This year’s budget includes a $160,000 donation to the Butler County School District. Those funds were used by the Butler County Board of Education to offset the costs of keeping McKenzie School open.

Also included in the budget is $39,150 for a city school system feasibility study. The total cost of the study is $43,500, but according to McLendon a portion of that fee has already been paid from last year’s budget to Birmingham-based Construction Program Management.

Overall McLendon was pleased with the city’s budget, which he said was completed primarily by City Clerk Sue Arnold and the city’s department heads.

“It’s a good budget,” he said. “The department heads really worked hard to keep it down as much as possible, and actually even though the number looks like it’s higher, we have made some cuts to the budget where we can. When people leave or retire, in most cases, we’re not replacing them because of the tough (economic) times we’re in. We actually have less employees than we did last year, but we’re working to do more with less, and like I said there’s a lot going on.”

McLendon was also cautiously optimistic that the city’s sales tax revenue, which totaled just more than $5 million last year, will continue to increase. The city budgeted for $6.4 million in sales tax revenue.

“We saw some increase last summer, and we’re hoping that continues,” McLendon said. “We tried to be conservative in our figuring and not think ahead too much, but it looks like with what we have seen during the last year that that’s a good number.”

A complete copy of the city’s budget is available to the City Clerk’s office.