What’s in, out in city budget

Mary Ann Kearns - [email protected]
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As Maysville prepares for the second reading of its annual budget later this month, City Manager Matt Wallingford weighed in on what made the cut, what did not and what is yet to be decided.

City employees can expect to receive raises averaging 1.5 percent effective July 1 , Wallingford said. Raises are not across-the-board raises, he said, instead department heads will determine who gets what based on performance. If the budget looks healthy enough at midyear, there is the change of another 1.5 percent being added, he said.

The city had originally planned a 3 percent increase in wages before cuts to the proposed budget were made.

A new packer truck for trash collection is a must, Wallingford said, if the city stays with it current conventional collection system or moves to automated collection. That would come at a cost of $165,000-$175,000, he said. Beyond that, decisions on whether rates will raise or the number of employees will be reduced have not been made, he said.

“We’re still crunching the numbers,” the city manager said.

Although there is a $10 per month residential garbage collection fee, the service still operates in the red by $100,000-$150,000 each year, according to Wallingford.

In addition to the two options, a third option is also on the table — contracting the garbage collection service out, perhaps to the county which operates its own garbage collection system. That option was introduced by Commissioner Victor McKay at the June commission meeting.

Wallingford said if the numbers look better to contract the service out, that would be a viable choice. But, he added, commissioners would need to consider what may happen once the contract runs out and how residents would be affected should prices increase.

Two new ambulances for the Maysville-Mason County EMS also remain in the budget as the the service plans to begin accepting patient transfers, Wallingford said.

In the past, the transports have been conducted by outside services but if the city expands to include the transport service, even at a conservative estimate it would mean an increase of revenue for the city beyond the investment, Wallingford said.

“It would give us an outcome in the positive,” he said.

Estimated revenue for the year is $12.2 million in the general fund, along with $9.5 million carried over in the general fund and $4.5 million in the utility fund, generated by almost $1 million in property tax, along with $8,5 million in license and permits.

Budgeted appropriations include $3,1 million for general government, $2,5 million for police, $2,5 million for fire and $2.6 for public works. With a shortfall of about $1 million projected, the contingency fund is expected to total $8.6 million.

Commissioners agreed this has been one of the toughest budget to develop yet as they looked at various ways to cut costs, finally agreeing to reexamine the budget and make amendments as the year develops.

The second reading of the budget is scheduled for a special meeting on June 26 at noon.

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Mary Ann Kearns

[email protected]