Middlesboro Mayor Bill Kelley released his proposed budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The budget was prepared with the mindset of continuing to provide government operations at customary levels in the areas of public safety, street maintenance, park maintenance, sanitation and waste-water treatment services, according to Kelley.
The city plans to do this by carefully managing fund balances and revenue streams from direct tax and fee collections and from other governmental sources such as Municipal Road Aid, Local Government Economic Assistance and coal severance funds.
There are also plans to use enhanced management software and professional consultation services to efficiently track income and spending, according to Kelley. The mayor stated that the city will seek grant funds and other government programs for special projects “in order to reduce the burden on local taxpayers.”
There are funds placed in the budget to help focus on condemned building removal and to continue to help revitalize downtown Middlesboro. An appropriation for the main street director will also be provided.
DDM has been given additional funding through coal severance in addition to the pursuit of other grant programs.
The budget includes full funding of the health insurance program for employees and continued participation in the state retirement system.The city budgeted a 6 percent increase in these cost.
There are proposed building repairs for city hall and the fire station. There are also plans for a shelter to be constructed at the horseshoe pitch park on North 15th Street and further improvements to playground equipment at other parks, according to Kelley.
City employees will not be receiving a cost-of-living raise this year. Kelley calculated the numbers and decided that the city has not sufficiently rebounded financially to make a commitment for an appropriate pay raise.
In the budget proposal, Kelley stated salaries in different departments have been calculated more closely resulting in decreases in some salaries and increases in others. The mayor stated that there are no plans to change overall employment.
Utilities and fuel expenditures are estimated to rise as well.Other changes to appropriations include some capital expenditures previously mentioned.
The city is working to obtain Advanced Life Support statues for the ambulance service. The city had previous purchased two ambulances suitable for the purpose, but greater investment of resources will be required when the program becomes active, according to Kelley.
Kelley stated that the city remains stronger financially at this time than last year.
“I am optimistic that the city can continue providing the same services while maintaining the level of fiscal responsibility necessary to prepare for the future,” said Kelley.
The total revenue presented in the proposed budget is $9,463,000. The total expenditures in the budget is $9,405,950, which brings the balance to $57,050.
This budget will be reviewed by the Middlesboro City Council before the budget can be approved.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.