Proposed FY 2010-2011 Budget
Dear Fellow Citizen,
I've been in office for about 30 days now. My priority has been working on this budget proposal. The current economic climate in which we find ourselves has provided many challenges. Those challenges have caused me to make some very difficult decisions that I believe are necessary. It is my hope that we will all stay the course as a family unit.
The budget I am proposing contains many items that will affect us all. It is comprised of several components including expenditure reductions and revenue-generating processes.
Addressing the well-documented deficit in the Wastewater Department and proposing a five-year tax increase are items I have identified as ways to generate more revenue.
The Wastewater Department proposal includes a $10 surcharge for every household until a cost analysis can be completed. This will address the annual (approximately) $1,000,000 deficit in this department.
The sales tax increase is being proposed to include a one cent tax increase for two years which would be reduced to a one-half cent increase for the remaining three years. In summary, our tax rate will be 9.5% for two years and 9% for the remaining three years. After the five year period, the sales tax rate will return to 8.5%.
All operating expenditures have been reviewed carefully. Many areas have been identified that can be streamlined or adjusted to realize cost savings. The next two actions cause me a great deal of pain because I know it will affect every city employee personally. At my request, the City Council has passed a resolution implementing a furlough policy for all city employees to include 6 days throughout the remainder of the current fiscal year. As an elected official, I have chosen to voluntarily participate in the furlough. With this furlough policy, we will be saving jobs.
Even with the cost savings realized by the furlough policy and the current hiring freeze that has been in place since October, 2010, I will still need to implement a reduction in force (RIF) to achieve the required decrease in personnel expenditures. This RIF program will also be difficult as it eliminates the positions of current city family members. We have put together a retirement package for eligible employees. While I regret the loss of valuable experience, the retirement of eligible employees could also decrease the need for, or lower the number of employees affected by, a reduction in force.
I know these are not popular, nor easy, decisions. However, easy and popular decisions are not real. I have allowed the numbers to direct me in formulating this budget which includes many difficult choices I regret having to make. I have made every decision with every department and every employee in mind. This budget represents a team effort of City department heads, the Finance Committee and myself. I need to personally thank Human Resources Director Lisa Thrash and Interim Acting Finance Director Doug Moseley for all of their hard work. If we use this document as a road map, we will find ourselves on the way to solid financial ground.
Please remember everything I've proposed is in the best interest of the City of Prattville. We are all here together.
Bill Gillespie, Jr.
Previously Rescinded Budget Proposal (available for comparison purposes only)
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