City OKs employee raises in new budget

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 30, 2011

The Troy City Council reconvened briefly Friday morning to approve its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget, which totals approximately $60 million in expenses, is based on what Mayor Jimmy Lunsford described earlier this week as conservative revenue projections.

“There are no new revenue sources for the general fund operations,” he said.

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The utility fund is projected to generate $37 million in revenues, of which some $5 million will be transferred to general fund operations. The general fund revenues are expected to be $22.8 million.

“All rates proposed for 2011/2012 will be the same as passed by the city council approximately a year ago,” the mayor said in his assumptions.

In December 2010, the city council approved a two-part rate increase that took effect in January 2011 and again in January 2012. Under the second part of the rate increase, the rate per kilowatt hour charged to customers will increase by 4.5 percent effective Jan. 1, 2012, and the monthly base charge for residential service will increase by $1 to $9.

The electric utility sales used for the budget are based on the 2010/2011 usage numbers, Lunsford said. “Our substantial industrial load prevents weather impacting our total consumption to a great extent,” he said.

In the expenditures, the FYE 2012 budget includes a 2.5 percent cost of living raise for all employees, as well as the 2.5 percent step raise given to employees on their anniversary. It also includes the addition of one full-time employee: a code enforcement officer in the zoning and planning department.

Allocations to community agencies funded by the city remained at the same levels as the previous year, with no new additions. Those agencies and their funding include Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, $12,000; Big Brothers Big Sisters, $20,000; East Central Mental Health, $65,000; Economic Development Authority, $75,000; Emergency Management, $10,000; OCAP, $46,000; Pike County Juvenile Court, $6,000; Pioneer Museum of Alabama, $6,000; Pike Soil and Water, $16,000; South Central Development Commission, $4,900; Teen Advisors, $8,000; Troy Arts and Humanities, $18,000; Pike county Chamber of Commerce, $35,000; Troy Pike Cultural Arts, $20,000; Pike County Health Department, $12,000; Senior Center, $12,000; and Boys and Girls Club, $10,000.

Lunsford said the capital expenditures in the approved in the budget will be addressed throughout the year. “Just because it’s approved Oct. 1 doesn’t mean the money is available Oct. 1,” he said, adding that the only department approved to begin the purchase process is Public Works, which will add two garbage trucks and a limb truck in the upcoming budget year. “There’s a long delivery time on those,” he said.