Brentwood Committee Approves 2011 Budget
The Brentwood Ways and Means Committee approved the city's proposed 2011 budget on Monday. The budget requires a final approval from the Board of Aldermen before the end of the year.
The Brentwood Ways and Means Committee approved the city's proposed $14.6 million budget for 2011 at its meeting on Monday morning.
The committee could only examine budget summaries and ask general questions on money allocations. The detailed line item budget won't be available until the end of the week, City Administrator Chris Seemayer said. The budget will be sent to the Brentwood Board of Aldermen to approve at its Dec. 6 meeting, Seemayer said.
The city expects overall revenue to decrease by 3 percent, or $330,000. The decrease is fueled by a projected $275,000 drop in tax-increment financing reimbursements because the Brentwood Promenade TIF was paid off in April. The revenue might be higher than expected, Seemayer said, because the city used a very conservative number when projecting sales tax revenue.
In September, the Board of Aldermen approved a hike in property tax rates: from 76.4 cents to 84.8 cents per $100 in property value for businesses, and from 60.2 cents to 61.2 per $100 in property value for homeowners. The budget shows an expected $2,000 increase in revenue from property taxes for next year.
In its general operating fund, the city plans to trim costs by cutting five employees and decreasing the hours of another position. Other employees will be eligible for a 3 percent wage increase if they meet performance guidelines. Second Ward Alderman Mike Marshall asked about employees with disciplinary actions on their records.
"Everybody is qualified to be evaluated, but based upon your evaluation, that determines if you get that raise or not," Seemayer said.
Some employees have reached the wage cap for their positions, however, so they won't be eligible for the raises.
In capital improvement projects, the city plans to spend $345,000 on the police and fire departments. The fire department hopes to buy a new ambulance and EKG monitor, while the police department seeks two cars, two Tasers, a portable radar trailer, a surveillance camera and eight rifle night sights.
Marshall asked if the night sights were necessary expenses when the police officers don't generally use rifles, but First Ward Alderwoman Barbara Clements said the city shouldn't cut corners on police equipment.
The city also plans to spend $286,000 in public works projects, including a snow plow, a new dump truck bed, and street and sidewalk replacements.
About 4 percent of the city's expenses—totaling $643,000—will be used to pay back previous bond issues. The city will submit payments toward three projects: the street project bonds from 1992, the city hall improvement bonds from 2003 and the police and fire stations bonds from 2009.
In other Ways and Means Committee news:
- Voters approved the propositions to extend mayoral and aldermanic terms from two to four years, but the Board of Aldermen has to pass an ordinance to finalize the changes. Seemayer told the committee to expect an agenda item for next Monday's meeting.
- Ron Hill, the Brentwood Municipal Court judge, asked the committee to consider changing judge terms from two to four years to match the mayoral and aldermanic terms. "If you keep me at every two years, you don't eliminate an election. You have an off-year election for just a judge," he said. The city's code requires an ordinance change from Board of Aldermen in order to extend the judge's term, not the approval of Brentwood voters, Seemayer said. The committee agreed to bring it before the board.