Troy City Council reviews proposed budget plan

| August 11, 2020 8:26 AM

As thousands of cities across the country brace for budget shortfalls due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Troy City Council expects to be in the green in 2021.

According to a budget plan presented on Aug. 6, councilors anticipate ending fiscal year 2021 with a general fund balance of nearly $80,000. This would be just over a 20 percent increase in the city’s balance from the beginning of the year.

The councilors expect that nearly $550,000 in general funds revenue will flow into Troy’s coffers next year, a 24 percent increase in the actual amount received in fiscal 2020.

The largest line item sources of revenue for the city continue to be real estate taxes and entitlement share reimbursements from the state, which are projected to be just over $88,000 and $177,000 respectively.

Councilors, however, overestimated their projected general funds revenue for the previous fiscal year by $60,000, falling significantly short on their income estimates from donations, licenses and permits.

Next fiscal year, councilors expect to see just over $530,000 in general fund expenditures. This would be a slightly greater than 13 percent increase in the amount the city spent last year.

Salaries and wages for the police department make up the largest line item. While councilors anticipate spending nearly $162,000 in this portion of the budget — a nearly $30,000 increase from last year — the city is set to receive $63,000 from a U.S. Department of Justice grant to fund the hiring of a fourth officer.

According to budget documents, the city came in under its projected general fund expenditures by a little more than $32,000 last year.

During the Aug. 6 meeting, councilors discussed the most noticeable features of the upcoming budget. Troy residents are likely to see road improvements, the replacement of a burst water utility pipe and museum renovations in the coming year. They also will see a hike in electricity rates.

While councilors have not developed road maintenance plans for next year, Mayor Dallas Carr suggested resurfacing Third Street and Yaak Avenue between First and Second Street with a chip seal.

The budget reviewed on Aug. 6 appropriates $15,000 for road oil, but Tracy Rebo, city clerk, suggested increasing the amount to $30,000. The city is set to receive over $23,000 in funds from the Bridge and Road Safety Accountability Act, which could be used for maintenance.

The councilors worked in a $90,000 project in the water utility budget, which will replace a burst water pipe close to the museum.

“That was a heck of a leak,” Carr said remembering the burst. “They figured a million gallons a day.”

The councilors expect to replace the Troy Museum’s chainsaw carved sign, which has begun to weather, next year. Carr said he would also like to renovate and repaint the wall dividing the museum’s bathrooms.

Councilors anticipate a rate increase in electrical utilities next year. According to the budget, the department is set to lose nearly $79,000 in fiscal 2021. A significant portion of the loss, $46,000, will go toward the cost of a new bucket truck. Councilors are also searching for a new journeyman lineman to join the department.

Rebo tentatively scheduled a public hearing for the budget on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at Troy City Hall.