Hobby to present proposed budget

Published 10:28 pm Friday, August 20, 2010

The Bainbridge City Council will hold a special called meeting next Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. to accommodate a presentation by City Manager Chris Hobby on the city’s 2010-2011 budget.

The budget for the city’s 2010-2011 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, is now available for viewing on the city’s Web site, www.bainbridgecity.com. There are three versions of the budget posted on the site, labeled drafts A, B and C. The three versions are almost entirely identical, except for two budget items. All three drafts have total General Fund expenditures of approximately $8.7 million.

Draft A contains funding for an employee raise of up to 3 percent, as determined by merit. If approved, the raises would be the first pay increase of any kind for the city’s employees in three years, Hobby wrote in a memo to the council. The raises would be given to the employee on their work anniversary date. The total cost of implementing the merit raises would be $98,265.67.

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Draft A also includes $42,626 for Fourth of July entertainment and fireworks.

Draft B contains no funding for employee raises. In addition, Draft B eliminates most community activities, including the Fourth of July concert and fireworks. The event’s elimination would save the city $42,626.

Draft C contains funding for an across-the-board 3 percent cost of living increase for all city employees. The raises would be given in October and would have a total cost of $175,589.10. In addition, the budget contains funding for community activities, including a Fourth of July concert and fireworks.

In his memo, Hobby said staff projects the city will have $321,877 less in spending from its General Fund, which is used to fund day-to-day operation of the city’s six divisions. The savings is primarily being realized by reductions in budgeted positions and decreased employee health insurance costs. Twenty-seven budgeted positions have been eliminated through a hiring freeze and the elimination of vacant positions.

At the same time, it’s projected that General Fund revenue will remain virtually flat due to sales tax receipts increasing only slightly from the previous year. The proposed budget would replenish the city’s reserves by returning a projected $151,109.

The proposed budget calls for the expenditure of $5,565,910 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds. The total includes $4 million for sewer master plan projects, $750,000 for work related to the City Hall renovation and expansion project, $615,910 for recreation improvements and $200,000 for Streetscape improvements.

The council will hold its first public hearing on the budget at its meeting on Sept. 7. Final consideration of the budget will take place on Sept. 21.