“Since our May 23 meeting, there has been some changes,” Finance Director Tom Rhinehart said. “We have changed the 2014 budget to $145,208,235, a decrease of $121,185, or 0.08 percent.”
The changes include increases in the life insurance and long-term disability insurance costs, about $35,000; a decrease in credit card expenses; a $41,000 increase in cost of work crews as a result of changing from Hayes State prison to Floyd County; and additional intern positions in public works, water and sewer and electric, about $55,000.
“Our general fund decreased by $553,485, or 1.4 percent,” Rhinehart said. “The electric funded increased by more than $2.3 million, or 5.3 percent, and the gas fund increased by $2,314,820, or 10 percent.”
Rhinehart also told the council that the new budget would mean an increase in the monthly water base rate from $6 to $6.90, a 15 percent increase. Sewer rates will see a 5 percent increase at the lowest tier due to increased operation and maintenance costs and an additional $1.40 a month for average residential customers based on 7,500 gallons consumed. He said there would be a 50 percent increase for commercial fire service both in the city and the county due to increased maintenance costs.
The positives of the proposed budget, Rhinehart said, included no city property tax increase and a continuation of the five-year capital plan.
Because this was the first reading of the budget, council took no action. A second reading will be held at the next meeting.
In other business, council:
• approved a request to revise the North Towne CDBG grant project to remove three homeowners no longer participating and add three homeowners to the grant.
• authorized emergency replacement of the air conditioning unit on the distribution and collection office at a cost of $5,400.
• approved $13,600 to purchase 200 residential gas meters.
• approved an agreement with the Optimists Club for its annual July 4 celebration.
• approved $9,327 for Dellinger Park pool improvements.
The Cartersville City Council will meet again at 7 p.m. June 20.