Mayor’s Budget Up Slightly For 2014
By Carol Arnett
Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider delivered his proposed $32.8 million budget to the city council Monday, along with his budget message. In the message, Schneider highlights specific items in the budget.
The proposed budget is just under $32,859,260, approximately $1 million more that the 2013 budget of $31,618,802. The city’s fiscal year runs from Dec. 1 through Nov. 30.
The proposed budget does not contain a wage increase for city employees. Schneider notes that the city pay 100% of employee health care premiums and 25% for dependent premiums. These premiums, he writes, are projected to increase by 11.5%. However, Schneider writes, the city is not in a financial position to give across-the-board wage increases.
“The economic situation continues to present challenges,” Schneider said. “Sales tax, our single most important revenue source, is virtually flat. Of the other major revenue sources, gasoline tax continues to decline while the utility tax is flat.”
On the bright side, Schneider writes, “we have had economic development success is achieving an encouraging level of commercial investment in the City of Florissant with will help in future budgets.”
Other highlights of the budget include:
• Several positions currently below their starting pay grade will be brought up to grade
• No part-time person will be regularly scheduled more than 30 hours per week.
• The budget includes $662,000 for vehicles, $123,000 for mowers, $55,000 for a park pavilion, and $74,000 for fitness center equipment. (continued on page 16)
The proposed budget uses slightly over $1.6 million from the general fund reserves. This leaves the reserve balance of $7.7 million. Schneider notes that this is 31% of the budget and “well above our policy of targeting a reserve balance of at least 10%”
In other matters , the council discussed the homebuyer program at their work session. Councilman Tim Lee said that he was working on a draft bill approving the program and he would introduce it at the next council meeting.
The proposed program will offer homebuyers moving into the city limits a loan equal to the amount of their own down payment, up to $6,000. This loan would be forgiven after the resident stays in the home for five years.
Some bankers had suggested an application fee of $50-$100 that would be credited back when the buyer’s loan is forgiven.
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