Troy’s proposed budget mirrors tight economy

Troy’s proposed budget mirrors tight economy

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 8:43 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor The Town of Troy’s proposed budget looks much like many households’ wallets in these days of ever-increasing costs — not enough money at the end of the month. And just like those families who must continue to purchase food and gas and pay their utilities, the Town of Troy must continue to pay its employees, run the town’s vehicles and do general business. Luckily, unlike some families, the Town of Troy has a “savings account” it can dip into, but Mayor Jimmie Hart warns that too much “dipping” can cause trouble down the road. Hart said to come up with the 2008-09 budget, he took last year’s budget and the past 11-month summary, along with the recently-passed budget amendments. The proposed budget includes in the general fund revenues of $678,405, while expenses are estimated at $704,997. The state street aid fund includes $37,500 in revenues and $52,292 in expenditures. That amount won’t even cover resurfacing a mile of roadway, according to Hart, who said he checked the costs and has been told it will cost $80,000 a mile to blacktop the streets this coming year. When the Town of Troy first started offering trash pickup to its residents, Barker Brothers only charged $2,000-$3,000 a month. Now that expense is more than $10,000 a month. The solid waste fund is showing estimated revenues of $131,000, but expenses of $148,990. The town’s estimated drug enforcement fund includes $4,150 in revenues and $10,000 in expenses. Hart said the water and sewer funds will also operate in the coming fiscal year with more expected expenses than revenue. There will be about a $16,000 deficit in the sewer department, he noted. “We’re operating on the edge this year,” he said, adding the town will try to keep expenses down and maybe things won’t be so bad. But, he said, he has no control over things breaking and needing to be replaced. Hart said the budget has to submitted to the comptroller’s office and he was concerned about submitting one which was not balanced. He said he has been informed that it is OK as long as the town has a good fund balance. “If we don’t adopt the $1.70 back and have to take the certified tax rate, we will be in trouble somewhere down the line. We can’t wait until we’re in too much trouble before we do something,” Hart said. The state has yet to provide the town with the certified tax rate. The mayor, prior to the board’s approval of the first reading of the budget, informed the aldermen he had built in a 2 percent pay increase for the town’s employees. Aldermen Deanna Chappell and Gene Gurien said they’d rather that be a 3 percent raise. The board will revisit the amount prior to the second reading. The budget requires three readings for passage. In other business, the board: • Passed the flood plain ordinance on second reading. The mayor said the main difference is that Troy must appoint a Board of Flood Plain Review. He will have the names for appointment at the next meeting, when the board passes the flood plain ordinance on third and final reading. • Learned a police department vehicle had to have a fuel pump replaced. • Heard the mayor has been “jumping through hoops” to comply with the Tennessee Department of Transportation in order for the state to pay the estimated $500,000 price tag for relocating the town’s utility lines, which will be affected by Interstate 69. He said if everything is not done to the state requirements, the town will have to pay to relocate the lines. • Was informed two faded stop signs have been replaced. • Heard insurance for Troy Community Involvement Days was $307. Mrs. Chappell commended the Troy Community Club on a job well done on the festival. • Was asked to check the limbs hanging over sidewalks. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 7.22.08

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