Before the first slide of his PowerPoint presentation flashed on the screen, Emerson City Manager Kevin McBurnett forewarned the council.
“Our line item budget is extremely different than in past years,” he said. “We increased the number of functions and line items this year to try and better capture our costs and analyze them in the future.”
And there were more changes in store.
“You may notice that I am actually presenting the budget,” Mayor Al Pallone said. ”But our new charter — House Bill 247, as adopted by the Georgia General Assembly — says now it is the duty of the mayor to present the budget for the next fiscal year.”
Pallone said the new charter also requires the town to create an employee classification and compensation plan for employees, including the mayor, four council members, 19 full-time employees and three part-time employees.
“We did increase salaries 2 percent to meet our new compensation plan,” Pallone told the audience. “But our biggest area of concern is increasing medical expenses. We budgeted a 15 percent increase, but that’s obviously a risky scenario because it’s difficult to even guess how much the increase will be. We’re doing our best to keep those numbers reigned in, but it’s not easy.”
Pallone said the fiscal year 2014 general fund budget remained flat, showing an 8.3 percent increase over FY13, mainly due to the capital purchase of a new police cruiser and increases in employee medical expenses and employee compensation.
A summary of the proposed budget for the FY 2014 general fund showed:
• the revenues do not include any contributions from the LakePoint project;
• millage rate remains the same at 2 mills;
• the water and sewer fund’s total revenue was $518,422, total expenditures were $518,290, a $132 increase;
• the solid waste fund remained flat with only a 1 percent increase over FY13.
The Emerson City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for June 10 at 7 p.m. at city hall.