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Hamilton adopts preliminary budget


The Hamilton City Council adopted a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2012 and has scheduled adoption of a final budget on September 6. Special Projects Coordinator Dennis Stranger presented the budget to the council stating that it was premised on the assumption that the employees will receive a 3 percent increase in compensation and the assumption that the Council will receive a cost of living increase of 1.6 percent this year. Stranger added that the increase in employee compensation was not the total for every employee. It did not include costs of the normal STEP increase at the Police Department, nor did it include longevity pay.

Stranger drew the council’s attention to four funds, the General Fund, the Building Inspection Fund, and the Water and Sewer Funds. Stranger said the General Fund had an ending balance from the 2011 of $1,324,799, which includes the operating cash and the net reserves combined. The Water Fund had an ending balance of $839,139 and the Sewer Fund had $684,457 left in the bank.

The Building Inspection Fund was hurting, however, and ended $68,000 in the red. Stranger said the recommendation was to establish a loan from the general fund that would be repaid into the general fund when building picked up.

This year’s mill value has been set at $11,823 per mill, which is up from last year’s value of $11,534. The maximum amount that could be levied this year is 171.7514 mills, according to Stranger. He said that was not the total tax revenue because the lighting districts and other special districts have their own levies in addition to the general tax and assessment levy. People living in those districts will receive a general tax levy and also additional levies for the district they inhabit.

Stranger recommended that the Council maintain the maximum amount of the levy for tax and assessments. He said that the city was facing two very big projects in the coming year. One was the $150,000 park improvement project and another was the $250,000 building improvement project and the remodeling of the annex. He said that the Fire Department had an extensive capital investment list and the council was discussing a possible justice center.

As far as the yearly cash flow report goes, Stranger said that they started this fiscal year with $4,743,018 in the bank and, if all goes according to budget, will end up with $4.5 million in the bank at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2012. The budget projects about $7,304,619 in revenues with about $7,616,656 in expenses. The year would end with $3,739,438 net cash and $744,000 in operating reserves for a total of $4,484,257 to start the next year.

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