Clanton council could approve budget at Sept. 23 meeting

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver said he plans to present the City Council with a proposed budget at its next meeting, on Sept. 23.

Driver said the budget estimates about $10 million in revenue for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2014. The total would be comparable to the $10.4 million budget the city is currently operating under.

Driver said state law requires the budget to include a surplus of 1/10th of a municipality’s revenue, so Clanton’s budget will include a surplus of about $1 million.

The most difficult part of the budgeting process, Driver said, is developing a good estimate about revenue for the coming year when so many businesses can open and close over the course of 12 months.

“You don’t ever know what’s going to happen during the year,” Driver said.

Once revenue is projected, officials make expenses fit within that total. As of Monday, Driver said budgeted expenses were about $29,000 above where they should be, so cuts would have to be made before the budget is presented to the council.

“It’s just give-and-take,” Driver said. “We can control expenditures pretty well.”

Driver said an important consideration during the budgeting process is keeping cash at hand to be able to use as a match if the city receives grants.

“If you can’t match it, you don’t get it,” he said.

Overall, the mayor said he feels optimistic about the city’s financial condition.

“We’re holding our own,” Driver said.