The proposed budget for next year is an almost $3 million increase from the 2013 proposed budget of $30.7 million, but should not cause taxes to increase, city officials said.
The amended budget for 2013 was $33.6 million.
Chief Financial Officer Robert Porche said the additional funds in the proposed budget for the upcoming year are a result of an increase in the city’s projected tax digest for next year.
Porche said two full-time police officers, two streets maintenance workers, one parks maintenance position, two part-time IT positions and one part-time position in human resources were added to the budget, and storm water projects for Washington Avenue and Justin Drive are planned for fiscal 2014.
Although the proposed budget is up from last year, the city’s budget is still not back to where it was before the economic downturn in 2008, he said.
The general fund is up $1.4 million to $16.9 million, a 9 percent increase from last year, Porche said. The increase is due to higher revenue, he said, but added that in the past five years the fund dropped from $21.2 million to $16.9 million.
Recurring revenue is projected to increase by 6 percent and the gross property tax digest is up 3 percent after appeals. The digest is expected to rise another 1.2 percent after exemptions.
The council also approved a contract with the city’s worker’s compensation provider USI Inc., amended the budget for lighting reimbursement, passed the first reading of an amendment about businesses, voted in favor of a request from the Deer Run Homeowners Association to have signage in the right of way and discussed library funding.
Mayor Donnie Henriques proposed options for redistributing funds given to the libraries, but stressed that if the council wanted to leave library funding where it was, that was also an option. The council agreed to bring suggestions and discuss the library fund at the special work session next Wednesday.
The council also voted to allow the placement of a bronze plaque on a memorial that would have the Pledge of Allegiance written in braille.