Perryville considers lean budget, may retain garbage fees

May 07, 2004|GARY MOYERS

PERRYVILLE - Calling the city budget for the upcoming 2004-2005 fiscal year "lean," Mayor Bruce Richardson recommended Thursday that the council retain the current monthly garbage collection fee until the end of the year.

The council doubled the city's insurance premium tax earlier this year to offset the expected loss of revenue when the garbage fees would be discontinued, at the time projected to be at the end of the current fiscal year in June.

But, as Richardson pointed out Thursday, insurance premium tax collection efforts will not begin until July.

"We raised insurance taxes to cover (garbage fees), but I'm really antsy about cutting it off at the end of the fiscal year until we see some income from insurance collection," said Richardson. "We need to keep an eye on them and come back and visit it again at the end of the year," meaning December.

The idea to eliminate the garbage fee was proposed by Richardson after the sale last year of the Perryville water system to Danville.


At the time, Richardson pointed out that without the threat of water service cutoff, Perryville officials had no real collection options for the garbage fees. The council voted to increase the insurance premium tax to 10 percent, calculating the extra revenue would offset the cost of underwriting garbage collection. That increase also put the tax more in line with surrounding communities such as Harrodsburg and Springfield.

However, Richardson pointed out, economic realities have forced a more cautious approach.

"Like all other government entities, we're facing some pretty lean times," he said. "We have moved some of our funds into higher interest bearing accounts, and the city also owns some CDs that, in the past, we've been able to roll over the interest. But, we will have to begin putting the interest into the operating budget."

The budget presented to the council, which was given first reading, forecast a projected revenue of $226,922, down approximately $1,000 from last year. Interest income alone is expected to drop from $15,000 to $11,000, Richardson said.

A net surplus of $893

Projected expenses are $226,029, leaving a net surplus of $893.

"I wish I had better news to give you," Richardson told the council. "It's a lean, lean budget, and one we have to watch carefully."

The budget is scheduled for second reading approval at the June 3 meeting, and would take affect July 1.

The council voted to purchase a home at 412 Buell St., owned by Rick Lee but abandoned for two or three years, Richardson said.

Negotiations with the owner resulted in a $15,000 price tag, and council members felt that was a good price.

"It's worth it," said Councilwoman Julie Clay. "It's riverside property, and that makes it worth the price."

Richardson told the council the lot could be used as a front entrance to the city park in that area.

"There is the possibility of some donated funds to offset some of the costs," he said. "We would want someone from a historical group to examine the home to determine if any of it has historical value, and we would want to salvage that for another use."

Dawn Hastings was sworn in by Richardson at the beginning of the meeting to fill the term of former councilman Bill Howell, who resigned when his National Guard unit was deployed to Iraq in January. Hastings participated in Thursday's meeting.

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