University City City Manager Lehman Walker presented his proposed 2012-13 budget to the city council Monday.
Walker cautioned council members and those in the audience Monday that this is an initial proposed budget and is subject to change several times before it is finally approved in June.
The projected General Fund budget revenue is $26,168,860. The city's projected expenditures are $25,727,277, for a surplus of $441,583.
Several challenges face the city in its budgeting process. According to the 2010 Census, U City's population declined 5.5 percent from 2000, which leads to a per capita revenue reduction.
The city's sales tax figures have been flat for the past several years and with the current economic conditions, Walker said he didn't anticipate a change in the foreseeable future.
University City needs to put money into repairing its infrastructure — specifically its roads, sidewalks and curbs. The sidewalks and curbs need to be brought up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards.
"We are an inner ring suburb with aging infrastructure," Walker said.
For the fourth year in a row, the budget does not include cost of living increases for city employees. There is a 10 percent hike in medical insurance costs.
A quick list of budget components includes:
- No reduction in city services
- No increase in real estate taxes
- No increase in sales tax revenue
- Increase in funding for police and fire operations
- Partnership with the School District of University City to share the cost of a dedicated grant writer.
- Increase in funding for U City in Bloom
- Funding for City Hall Summer Youth Program.
Capital Improvements for Fiscal Year 2012Item General Grant Econ. Dev. Fleet $874,494 $2,612,237 Ferguson Bridge Replacement $58,016* $522,143 Loop North Parking Lot
$128,500 Jackson Pedestrian Signal $28,000* $112,000 Sidewalk & Curb Upgrade $60,150* $240,600 Transfer Station Deck Repair $156,000 Street Resurfacing $350,000 Sidewalks & Curbs $175,000 $13,000 Park Maintenance Building Roof $100,000 Golf Concrete Cart Paths $50,000 Fields $40,000 $80,000 Chamberlain Bridge Replacement $18,400* $73,600 Bicycle Facilities Project $4,000* $16,000 Olive Blvd./Westgate Traffic Signal $30,000* $120,000 Forsyth Blvd/North & South Road Resurfacing $12,500* $49,800 Vehicles and Equipment $1,250,000** TOTAL CAPITAL $1,956,560 $3,839,380 $128,500 $1,250,000
Editor's note: * Requires grant match. **Purchased from fleet funds set aside for replacement.
The city will hold more meetings and workshops on the budget before the city council votes on the final draft.