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Rincon to adopt smaller budget

POSTED: December 5, 2013 8:19 p.m.

Rincon’s fiscal year 2014 budget will be slightly smaller than the current budget, after a proposed spending plan was presented for a public hearing at the city council’s last meeting.

“We still have some major projects we want to do,” said City Manager Wesley Corbitt.

The city will spend about $2 million from its fund balance for capital projects, Corbitt said. The city has pegged about $1 million in expenses for the Macomber Park improvements and expansion. There also is $1.2 million set aside for water and sewer work on the city’s westside.

The budget is down from the current fiscal year, Corbitt said. The city has tapped into its cash reserves the last few years to complete some major projects, such as the widening of Fort Howard Road.

“We can rebuild cash over the next few years,” Corbitt said. “We have other capital projects we want to do.”

The budget also includes $59,931 for possible merit raises. Corbitt said the merit raises will be based on job performance, and department heads aren’t obligated to disburse all of their allotted merit pay.

“There are going to be some constraints as we go through it,” he said.

Among the inclusions in the budget is $16,000 to replace worn-out Christmas decorations, and an increase in police department salaries as the force is at full staff.

Work at Macomber Park is expected to cost about $1.29 million. The city has spent $815,000 so far and has about $473,000 left to spend with Rain and Shine for equipment. There is $250,000 set aside in the FY14 budget for parking at Macomber.

The budget also calls for $149,000 in street improvements. The fire department’s payroll is expected to go from about $191,000 to more than $286,000 as the city adds two more firefighters to the day shift and two more 24-hour firefighters. There is also $300,000 for equipment in the fire department’s budget.

Budget projections also call for the Lost Plantation Golf Club to turn a small profit in 2014, after repaying the city $28,000 for a fleet of new golf carts. The number of rounds played at the course, which the city bought in December 2009, was up by 300 this August over August 2012. Rounds were up by 400 for September over the same month last year and by 600 for October 2013 over October 2012.

The city is using about $1 million in cash reserves. Total general fund revenues are pegged at $3.65 million, down from $4.1 million budgeted for FY13. The city projects to collect $3.9 million in general fund revenues. Rincon expects to take in $1.42 million in sales taxes, with another $470,000 in franchise fees and $950,000 in water sales.

The local option sales tax agreement should mean an increase of about 21 percent in that revenue stream. Rincon expects to get about $1.1 million from LOST, up approximately $250,000.

Under the special local option sales tax budget, the city projects to spend $75,000 on new police patrol cars. The budget also calls for $200,000 for improvements at Fort Howard and Ackerman roads.

The city carried forward $670,000 in SPLOST for the current budget year, and SPLOST revenues are projected to be $858,000 for FY14, with expenditures at $1.711 million.


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