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Jemison Council approves budget

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Jemison City Council unanimously approved the budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year during a meeting on Oct. 7.

The budget anticipates $4,166,800 in revenue and outlines $4,030,111 in spending.

City Administrator Shannon Welch said revenues are expected to remain steady at the levels from the fiscal year which ended Sept. 30. The 2019-2020 fiscal year started Oct. 1.

The expenditure side has few changes from last year’s budget.

“The only changes we made was redirecting some expenses to each individual department to reflect that department, such as health insurance,” Welch said. “Health insurance used to be paid just all out of the general fund, now they are paid out of each individual department as it relates to what that department costs as far as health insurance.”

There was some other rearranging in the budget as well.

“We kind of do that every year, just trying to tighten things,” Welch said.

Street paving is a focus for the projects in the new budget. The street budget is set at $237,000.

What specific roads would be paved is yet to be determined.

“In the spring, the mayor and council are going to evaluate a lot of things, look at different roads and try to get some road paving (done) when the temperatures come back up for the year,” Welch said.

General Fund revenues are projected to total $1.8 million including city sales tax at $990,000. Sales and use tax at $115,000, city gasoline tax $250,000, simplified sales tax (online sales) $60,000 and ad valorem at $170,000.

Other revenue streams for the general fund are alcohol application fees, auditorium rental, motor vehicle tax, cigarette tax, rental tax, business privilege tax and a few others.

Expenses coming out of the general fund are expected to total $765,200.  The police budget is $845,100. The fire and rescue budget is $282,500. Neither budget includes funds for new vehicles this year.

The budget for parks is $68,400.

Jemison will continue to pay down debt with $555,021 going toward debt service. This is toward paying of debt the city has had for a while.

Last month, the council also approved establishing a $200,000 line of credit with Central State Bank. This account would only be used in emergency situations, including unexpected major repairs.

“This will prevent us from having to use our reserve funds that we are working to build up,” City Clerk Vicki Potts stated in an email.

The water and sewer budget for the city anticipates $916,500 in revenue and $682,300 in expenses. An additional $175,490 will be used to pay down debt connected to the water department. Welch said the debt service for the water department was separated out this year since it is a different funding source.