GONZALES — Gonzales city administrators expect sales tax revenues to continue growing 1 percent to 2 percent a year, but are taking a conservative stance with the proposed city budget for 2015- 16.
The city expects to collect $13.9 million in sales taxes by the end of the current fiscal year on May 31.
But it’s budgeting projected sales tax revenues of $13.6 million for the new fiscal year that begins June 1.
“You don’t want to overbudget revenue,” City Clerk Clay Stafford said after Monday’s City Council meeting, where the proposed new city budgets, including the major ones of capital outlay and the general fund, were discussed.
“If you get more than that, that’s good,” Stafford said.
The city will be looking at a busy capital improvements schedule during the next fiscal year, with a proposed $3 million in road projects, $1 million in water and gas projects and close to $4 million in wastewater projects.
The total proposed capital outlay budget, which the City Council will vote on at its next meeting, on May 11, is approximately $10.6 million, up significantly from the close to $5.6 million budgeted last year.
Stafford said much of that increase comes from the transfer of about $5 million from the city’s general fund budget to the capital outlay budget.
The city’s proposed general fund budget for the coming fiscal year is in the same ballpark as last year, approximately $14.7 million for 2015-16 compared to $14.2 for last fiscal year.
As Stafford presented general opening statements on Monday night, Councilman Terance Irvin jumped ahead to the proposed capital outlay budget for the Police Department, which, he said, at approximately $357,000, is close to what last year’s council — which then included Gary Lacombe, who resigned, and Timothy Vessel, who was recalled — had proposed for the department’s 2014-15 budget.
Irvin, who in former times voted in a three-man voting bloc with Lacombe and Vessel, said that proved that the former council “was on track.”
Also on Monday, the nonprofit organization Project Kidz Kove , which worked with the city for several years to build Kidz Kove Discovery Park for children of all abilities, donated the property of the new park at South Francois and Cornerview streets to the city. The park opened last fall.
The donation was part of the nonprofit’s initial contract with the city for the park in 2011.
At the close of the meeting, Alvin Broussard, director of the city’s department of public works, reported that several homes in the city had sustained damage from fallen trees or tree limbs in Monday’s severe thunderstorm.
The city, he said, will be picking up debris left in the wake of the storms, and he asked for residents’ patience as the work moves forward.