University City City Manager Lehman Walker presented a draft version of the city's 2013-14 budget Monday, proposing the first cost of living wage increase for city employees for the first time in five years.
The budget also includes an estimated $300,000 surplus.
“Against the economic odds, the City of University City has once again come up with a surplus budget,” said Walker. “As a result of fiscal discipline and sound management, we are able to increase the number of public safety staff by adding four police officers and two new fire personnel.”
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 $26,614,586. The city's projected expenditures are $26,311,945, for a surplus of $302,641.
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.
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.
A quick list of budget components includes:
- No reduction in city services
- No increase in real estate taxes for residential property
- A decrease in real estate taxes for commercial property
- No sales tax increases
- A 2 percent cost of living increase of all employees
- An inrease in funding for University City Police operations. This includes thefour new positions previously approved by the City Council.
- An increase in funding for University City Fire Department operations. This includes two new positions, a new ambulance and equipment for the fire department.
- Funding for City Hall Summer Youth Program
- Increased funding for street and sidewalk repairs
- Funding to build a new police station or extensively renovate the existing one.
- Replacing Information Technology (IT) infrastructure
Capital Improvements for Fiscal Year 2014Item General Grant Fund Reserves Solid Waste Asphalt Overlay $350,000
Bicycle Facilities Projects $36,00 $144,000 Chamberlain Bridge $111,152 $444,610
Concrete Slab Repairs $30,000
Driving Range $20,000
Millar Park $40,000 Renovating Police Station (or new)
$1,400,000 Sidewalk ADA $185,000 $13,000 Street Maintenance $150,000 Transfer Station
$100,000 TOTAL CAPITAL $922,152 $601,610 $1,400,000 $100,000
The city will hold more meetings and workshops on the budget before the city council votes on the final draft.
For more on University City budgets, see:
- 2014 City Budget: First Meeting Is Tonight
- Surplus Revised Upward for Proposed U City 2013 Budget
- City Manager Presents Proposed 2012-13 Budget
- For Your Consideration: Mayor Welsch's Take on the 2013 Budget
- Council Approves University City Budget For Fiscal Year 2012