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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monett unveils $38.1 million spending plan for 2010-11

Friday, February 26, 2010

Downtown Monett
The Monett City Council has unveiled its budget for the fiscal year beginning on April 1. After putting a freeze on new capital improvements and cost of living pay increases this past year, council members are anticipating a more typical year with increased spending.

The city is projecting total revenues of $37.9 million and spending of $38.1 million in the year ahead, compared to an original projection of $31.9 million in spending for the year ending on March 31.

In a prepared budget statement, City Administrator Dennis Pyle projected sales tax income will fall another 6 percent, or $178,610, in the coming year. The decrease would be in addition to the 9 percent drop seen during the 2009-10 year.

"This decline in sales tax revenue will have an impact on the city's general fund operations and tax increment financing districts during the upcoming fiscal year," Pyle wrote.

For the second year in a row, the budget does not include cost of living raises for employees.

"The city council will review the city's revenues in the four quarter of fiscal year 2010-11 and determine if there are surplus funds that would allow a retroactive wage increase," Pyle stated. "This would be contingent upon several positive economic factors being present or forecasted for 2011."

The city's general fund was projected to have spending of $7.3 million, leaving a revenue surplus of $160 at year's end.

New in the budget will be $20,000 in support for a new Main Street coordinator, a collaborative venture with the city, the Chamber of Commerce and downtown merchants association.

"The benefit for the city will be increased tax revenues generated from existing, expanding and new businesses in the downtown area," Pyle stated.

A number of capital improvements are included in the budget:

* New bunker gear and equipment for the fire department, 95 percent of which would be funded by a federal grant money.

* Purchase of one new patrol car for the police department and a new truck for the animal control officer at a total of $44,000.

* Two new dump trucks replacing older models are planned to be purchased for the street department.

* Asphalt cart paths at the Windmill Ridge Golf Course will be replaced with concrete paths. New cart paths will be built on the west side of the course for $30,000.

* The purchase of land, and relocating and upgrading the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) will begin at the municipal airport, paid for mostly by federal grant money.

* The city is setting aside $40,000 as a contingency for projects that may arise during the year.

* Work will begin on laying a 20,100-foot loop of 16-inch water mains from Chapell Drive to Eisenhower Street and south to the former Rutherford farm, where longterm plans call for construction of a water treatment facility. Building a booster pump station near well #12 is part of the plan. Laying 5,000 feet of 12-inch water mains from Moge Road to well #21 on the Jack Henry and Associates campus is in the plan, along with upgrading the well.

Funding for this project is covered by $1.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act bonds. Phased increases in water and sewer rates will repay the bonds, and 45 percent of the interest on the bonds will be reimbursable from the federal government.

Other major expenditures in the budget include:

* Spending for commercial building plan reviews by an outside consultant, to be offset by an increase in commercial building permit fees earmarked specifically for plan review services.

* A $15,000 outstanding balance on the purchase of approximately 10.4 acres of land located between the Bridgeport subdivision and Nellie Street for flood mitigation.

* The city plans to spend $25,000 repairing sidewalks incorporated into the original Greenways Trail network.

* The street department will work on micro-sealing Broadway and other streets as well as making repairs to the Centennial Overpass bridge.

* The past practice of collaborating with the Monett Area YMCA in putting $35,000 toward the operations of the municipal swimming pool will continue.

* A general fund reserve has been established, representing 8 to 10 percent of general fund revenues. Going into the new fiscal year, the city has $200,000 in the fund. Pyle anticipated monthly transfers of up to $50,000 a month would be made until the fund reached a balance of $500,000.

* Over the course of the year, the city plans to spent $1.2 million in principle payments and $1 million in interest on the city's debt of $23.9 million in debts from general obligation and revenue bonds, promissory notes and capital lease obligations.

One uncertainty in the budget is the city's ongoing payment of debts from highway improvements financed through the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program. The city remains in litigation with Barry and Lawrence counties over repayment of sales taxes and property taxes covering a portion of the debt.

No difficulty was anticipated in making bond payments for the TIF in the coming year, but the budget called for expenditures that would be higher than anticipated income because of the litigation.

"The cost of litigation may be significantly more or less depending upon how quickly the issues get resolved," Pyle stated.

Public discussion of the budget has been scheduled for the council's monthly meeting on March 19.

A detailed budget statement can be read on the city's website at www.cityofmonett.com.

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