Budget proposal includes raise

Published 10:54 am Friday, May 17, 2013

FRANKLIN—Franklin City Manager Randy Martin presented an overview of his 2013-2014 balanced budget to city council Monday night.

The proposed budget features no increase in taxes, level funding in most agencies and includes a two percent cost of living adjustment for city employees.

The General Fund budget amount is $21,648,279 out of the entire $54,290,659 proposed budget for all funds.

In his presentation, Martin showed a pie chart showing where the money comes from and where it goes. Revenue sources include property taxes (32 percent), other local taxes (24 percent), state and federal revenue (20 percent) and service charges (6 percent). Expenditures include Public Safety (28 percent), Public Works (14 percent), School Operating and Debt (28 percent), General Government (11 percent) and Judicial Administration (4 percent).

Those big-ticket items include:

• Public Safety – $5,264,787

• Public Works – $4,393,099

• School Operating & Debt – $5,707,732

• General Government – $2,207,336

• Judicial Administration – 967,061

In the separate Solid Waste Fund, which is newly created, the proposed budget reflects $1,390,832 and a reduction in the residential rate of $2.50 from $42.24 to $39.74. Last year saw a reduction of $1.17, brining the total solid waste reduction to $3.67 in two years.

All revenues received will now remain in the Solid Waste Fund, which Martin says will provide much improved accountability. He further explained that this fund reflects operational efficiencies achieved in yard waste operations and continues the reserve appropriation for future capital project replacements (future equipment).

The Water and Sewer Fund portion of the proposed budget show no recommended increase in base rates for the upcoming fiscal year.

There are no significant changes in operating revenue or expenditures for the Airport Fund.

The Electric Fund reflects a reversal of downward trend in cash balance in the fund, which the city is currently out of compliance with according to city statute.

The proposed budget includes a fuel adjustment, which is already in effect as a direct pass through to customers and includes a proposed Dominion North Carolina Power wholesale rate increase, which is currently projected at $3.32 per 1,000/kWh but Martin hopes will be less than that.

The proposed School System Budget recommends a continued current year base appropriation of $4,837,395 and further recommends funding the 2011-2012 carryover of 643,174 for a total appropriation of $5,480,569. Martin said the proposed school system budget does include the projected increase in state funding and federal funding to provide the state proposed two percent raise for teachers, for a total proposed budget from all sources of $16,747,201.

The next step in the budget process is for several more work sessions set for May 22, May 28 and May 30. A public hearing is tentatively set for June 10 at 7 p.m., with possible adoption at council’s June 24 meeting.