City Budget: Where does money go?Here are some highlights of Alexandria’s proposed 2011 budget of $10.16 million.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Here are some highlights of Alexandria’s proposed 2011 budget of $10.16 million:
• The overall levy is $5.29 million, an 8.46 percent increase from 2010’s $4.88 million levy. This is well under the 19 percent levy limit increase allowed by state law.
• Significant changes on the expense side of the budget include: general government – $15,000 for making building repairs at City Hall, $80,000 in payments to townships for tax reimbursements in annexation areas, $7,500 for an intern in the planner’s office; police department – the addition of a dispatcher/receptionist, utility/ backup generator costs for the new police station, a community service officer; parks department – $5,000 for utilities at the new park department building; other changes – reinstatement of employee benefit and planning commission development funds that had been eliminated because of local government aid (LGA) unallotment in 2010; $65,000 for a street paving program to address deteriorating street conditions; and a 20 percent increase in various equipment funds to reflect higher replacement costs.
• Significant changes on the revenue side of the budget include: a $125,000 reduction in the franchise and delinquent taxes budget, primarily because of decreased natural gas sales; and a $446,000 increase in intergovernmental revenue because of reinstated LGA.
• The budget reflects a 2 percent increase in employee wages. Also, planned salary adjustments for department heads, which were delayed in 2010, are now included in the 2011 budget.
• $250,000 is included for capital improvement projects that have been delayed because of past LGA cuts.
• The retirement benefits the volunteer firefighters receive for every year of service will increase 2 percent – from $6,190 in 2010 to $6,314 in 2011.
• Actual taxes paid by property owners depend on market value, tax capacity and the budgets of the taxing authorities. In 2010, the city’s share of property taxes for a typical residential property represented about 27 percent of the total property tax.
• The city’s budget committee interviewed about 20 individuals or organizations during the budgeting process.