September 4, 2012
Dear Councilmembers and Citizens of the City of Prattville,
The document that I present to you tonight is the culmination of many hours of labor. I have worked with Department Heads to make cuts where they were needed in order to achieve a budget that will get us through the coming fiscal year.
This budget is based on the 1-cent sales tax increase being decreased to one-half cent on January 1, 2013. That adjustment will require us to be more efficient and more mindful than we ever have in order to continue providing the level of services that our citizens have come to expect from us.
Inside this budget, I have included a number of capital projects, along with capital equipment outlay. With the complete understanding of this mechanized, service-oriented company, our valued employees cannot perform their tasks efficiently without having proper equipment.
We have begun to realize the enterprise fund concept is going to be a valuable tool in the future. First, it makes departments more accountable. Secondly, it removes their funding from the general fund. Lastly, it affords them the flexibility to plan for the future in these critical departments. I have planned for one or more other departments to migrate to the enterprise fund concept, with help from the City Council.
I am proud to report that every penny of our 1-cent sales tax increase has been used to pay our debt service. We have collected $6,597,803.49 from the one-penny tax increase and we have paid $7,840,978.78 toward our bond issues. Accounts payable has been properly managed within a 30-day window, a first in many years. I am glad to inform you and our employees that furloughs are not a line item in this budget. Neither merit nor cost-of-living raises will be awarded in the coming fiscal year.
We have made much progress over the past 18 months. We still have a long way to go. With passage of this budget, we will make another step toward fiscal responsibility and proper management of this service-oriented business.
With kindest regards, I am
Bill Gillespie, Mayor
City of Prattville