• 95°

City passes $13.1 million budget

The Greenville City Council approved a $13.1 million budget Monday night for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The budget represents a $655,975 increase from the budget approved by the council for the 2014-15 fiscal year and includes a merit raise for city employees. The city had awarded a 2 percent cost of living raise to employees each year beginning in 2005, but froze city employee’s salaries in last year’s budget.

“That was important to me,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “It’s something we weren’t able to do last year, but something our employees need to survive these days. If you’re not seeing at least a 2 percent increase each year in this economy, you’re really going backwards.”

Employees will be eligible for a 2 percent to 5 percent pay raise in this budget. The amount of each employees raise will be determined by Human Resources Director Barbara Philpot and each department head.

The increase in the budget also reflected a $300,000 increase in sales tax and a $100,000 increase in ad valorem tax, according to City Clerk Sue Arnold.

The budget also includes offsetting revenue and expenses for a $665,000 taxilane development project at the Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport and a $40,000 increase in the allocation awarded to E-911. It will receive $70,000 from the city in the upcoming fiscal year.

McLendon said the city saw a $22,000 increase in revenue generated by Sherling Lake. Projected income for the park for this year is approximately $100,000.

“More people are traveling since gas prices are down,” McLendon said. “That’s good news for us.”

McLendon praised the city’s department heads for their work on the budget, calling it the easiest and best budget he’s been a part of creating in his 15 years as mayor.

“Really and truly I did very little because the department heads did their jobs and did a great job,” McLendon said. “It’s fun to be the mayor of a group like we have here in Greenville.”

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