Mayor Schneider’s Budget Includes 2% Wage Hike For Full-time City Employees

By Carol Arnett

Florissant Mayor Thom Schneider presented his proposed 2013 budget to the Florissant City Council, which dips into the reserves in order to balance the budge.  The city’s fiscal year runs from Dec. 1 to Nov.  30. The budget dips in to the city’s reserves for approximately $1.3 million, leaving the reserve with $8 million, the mayor noted.

The city budget is just over $31.5 million. Schneider is purposing a 2% wage increase for all full-time and part-time city employees. Schneider also included a merit salary element to the employee pay plan. He said that this was supported by several department heads. The plan is designed to help retain police officers and other employees, they contend.

City employees did not get a wage increase last year. They received 2% as part of a new pay plan in 20011, but they took a 3% decrease in 2010.

The budget includes funding for Park Police. The council heard a proposal for park police at an open executive session. Police Chief William Karabas and Parks Director Ron Veach would like to see park police; this city does not currently have any.

One large portion of the new budget, Schneider said, is an increase in the monthly premium the city pays for employee’s medical insurance b y 5%. The city is still negotiating with the insurance company to provide the best plan at the best price, Schneider said.

Schneider said that the “amount of revenue received in excess of the amount budgeted and budgeted expenditures not spent for the 2012 fiscal year should exceed the $1.3 million planned to be taken from reserves for 2013.” Because of this, Schneider says, “I believe the use of reserve funds to be necessary and prudent use of resources since the same amount borrowed will be returned.” He continued by saying that “the proposed budget is a balanced budget.”

The city receives almost half of its revenue from taxes, with 2013 projections of $7 million from sales tax, $6.1 million form utility tax, and approximately $2.2 million from cigarette, gasoline and road and bridge taxes.

Licenses and permits bring in approximately $1.2 million, golf and recreation bring in approximately $1.7 million, and other miscellaneous income, including municipal court fees, cable TV, interest income, and grants and reimbursements, bring in the remainder of funds.

The city will be purchasing some new vehicles. Two new salt trucks, a new handicap bus, and eight police cars will be purchases, as well as three pick-up trucks.

The department projected to have the largest expenditures, is, as in previous years, the police department, with $10 million. The majority of this is for salaries and benefits. The capital improvement fund and park improvement fund both have over $3 million in expenditures.

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