Mayor: City budget on track

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 8, 2011

Budgeting work is under way for the City of Troy, and the mayor plans to have a draft of the 2012 budget for the council to review next week.

“I’m very close to having a draft completed for the council,” Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said Thursday. “I intend to have one for them to review next Tuesday.”

Lunsford said he has been meeting with department heads in recent weeks, discussing requests and needs for the upcoming fiscal year.

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“We’re discussing their requests,” he said. “And capital needs are always an issue. When you consider things like garbage trucks, that run $140,000 a piece, the cost can add up quickly.”

However, Lunsford said steadily increasing revenues and a surprising drop in employee health insurance expenses both bode well for the budget.

“Four or five years ago we started a wellness program, with health fairs; screening and incentive programs,” he said. “I think we are seeing a result of that as employees are more serious about their health.”

That focus in turn is reducing the city’s health insurance costs.

Added to that is a reassuring growth in tax revenues, particularly sales taxes.

“Our sales tax revenues have been up,” he said. “I think we’re approaching the one year mark where each month’s revenues have been up over the same month last year.”

Because of that, he doesn’t anticipate having to add additional revenue sources to the budget.

“And we won’t have to cut any staff,” Lunsford said.

He does anticipate level funding for the cities funding partners, including civic and charity organizations. “I don’t anticipate any increases in those funding levels.”

The council meets at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.