DENHAM SPRINGS — General fund revenues exceed expenditures slightly in the city’s proposed fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, but the administration’s budget projects a deficit when all funds are combined.
Employees will get no cost-of-living raises, Mayor Jimmy Durbin said.
Cuts made by the City Council to the administration’s general fund budget include reductions in city contributions to youth and family counseling and to the Council on Aging.
The overall city budget shows almost $25.4 million in revenue, but is $441,000 in the hole when all expenditures and depreciation are subtracted for the year.
The utility fund, which is made up of the city’s business operations, has a projected deficit of almost $500,000.
That factors in a recent increase in charges for water and a proposed increase to natural gas customers of 20 cents per 100 cubic feet of gas.
Revenue from the city’s water, natural gas and sewage services make up the utility fund. Those operations show revenues of $10.5 million and expenditures of $8.5 million before bond payments of $660,000 and depreciation of almost $1.8 million.
City Treasurer Clarence Speed said Friday that depreciation is important to consider in the budget because money needs to be available when a water well goes dry or pipes have to be replaced.
The administration’s projection for general fund revenue is $10.3 million, which is about $36,000 above the city’s projected expenditures.
That should leave the fund with more than $2.4 million in cash and assets.
About $1.3 million of that is in cash, Speed said.
The administration presented the City Council members with a balanced budget for the general fund Thursday, but council members cut $36,000 from expenditures.
Cuts of $5,000 to youth and family counseling, $5,000 to the Chamber of Commerce and $21,520 to the Council on Aging made up most of the general fund cuts.
“It was a matter of scrubbing the budget to see where we could cut,” said Arthur Perkins, chairman of the council’s Finance Committee. “Those were some agencies that we have been helping, but money is tight and we had to scrub the budget where we could.”
Revenue is almost flat when compared with the current budget. The administration’s revenue projection includes a $195,924 increase in sales tax income, but that is offset by reductions in projections for revenue from fines, a cable TV tax and police grants.
Sales taxes make up 64 percent of general fund revenue, according to an administration report that accompanies the budget.
The report notes increases in the amounts the city will have to contribute to employee retirement systems.
The city’s contribution to the Municipal Employees Retirement System will rise by 1.35 percent to 8 percent, the mayor said.
The contribution to the Firefighters Retirement System will increase by 3.75 percent to 25.25 percent, and the contribution to the Municipal Police Employees Retirement System will increase 3 percent to 28 percent, Durbin said. The city is required by state law to pay those amounts, he said.