BELLEVILLE — City leaders have started to review a proposed 2013-14 budget that includes new hires and a flooding study for The Orchards subdivision.
The Finance Committee met Monday to start the annual budget review process by going over the $26.7 million general fund budget.
The committee will meet again for a special meeting later in March to go over all other city budgets -- such as tax increment financing funds, pensions and city departments -- aside from the general fund.
A public hearing will be held in April before the city votes on the budget. The new fiscal year begins May 1.
In an overview of the city's general fund, Finance Director Jamie Maitret told city leaders that the revenue will go from $26.2 million in the current year to $26.8 million for the upcoming fiscal year. Expenditures went from $26 million to $26.7 million.
Maitret noted, however, that expenses are not actually going up more than revenue. The expenditures figure is higher because of a one-time $140,000 payment for a new firetruck and the sale of an old truck already offset that cost.
Major increases in expenses include:
* $129,000 to hire a full-time administrative employee, a full-time GIS coordinator-land use employee and three part-time community resource officers. The figure does not include cost for benefits.
The administrative employee would be responsible or assist with the city's new website, Freedom of Information Act requests, marketing and special events, coordinating a city disaster plan, updating the city's ordinance book, investigate the possiblity of city court, doing a quarterly review of development agreements, liquor commissioner demands due to video gambling machines and manage a channel if the city starts to televise public meetings.
* $125,000 to buy 2,500 trash toters to automate the city's trash collection system.
*$50,000 to pay for a flooding study in the Orchards and $25,000 to pay for ditching work there.
The city is also projected to end the year with about a $1 million surplus, bringing total reserves to about $2.8 million, Maitret said.
"This is the highest cash balance in the general fund since 2007," Maitret said. She added that bringing up reserves, to levels before the recession, will protect the city in emergency situations and could improve the city's bond rating.
Overall, the city's total budget is expected to be $118 million.
In actuality, the expenditures budget is about $103 million, Maitret said, because the total figure includes a $15 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the city's sewer plant project, which is money from the state and sewer construction fund paid to contractors.
What to know
Interested in commenting on the budget? Here are tentative public meeting dates:
March 27: Special Finance Committee meeting to review all budgets other than General Fund
April 8: Public hearing on the 2013-14 budget; Finance Committee meeting follows the hearing
April 15: City Council meeting to vote on the budget
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.