The Tallassee City Council voted to pass the 2021 fiscal budget at last Tuesday’s city council meeting. The budget was introduced at the Sept. 8 regular council meeting.
The introduced budget includes a projected revenue of $12,035,208, with expected expenditures reaching $11,799,617, leaving an estimated overture of $235,591.
“We were very conservative on the expenditure side,” councilmember Bill Godwin said.
The budget includes a 5% increase to cover a potential increase in the cost of employee health insurance.
A 7% cost of living raise for city employees is included in the fiscal budget.
"This is something that is long overdue and it is something that is deserved,” Godwin said. “We have great people very hard, especially during all this.”
The cost of living raise does not include a pay increase for the mayor or superintendent of utilities. According to Godwin, a 7% raise for city employees will cost around $240,000 a year.
“The seven percent cost of living raise is a great thing for the city employees, the police officers, public works, the men and women here at city hall, the fire department, everyone, across the board. I know 7% doesn’t sound like a lot on paper but this will get them closer in line to where they need to be compared to our surrounding areas,” Mayor Johnny Hammock said about the cost of living raise for city employees.
Hammock believes the cost of living raises will also help add new employees to the city’s payroll and preserve the current employees.
“This will also help with recruiting new employees in the future and retain the employees we have now,” he said.
The 2021 fiscal budget also includes a $24,000-line item for Tier 1 retirement.
Last year's budget came in at just over $10.7 million. This year's projected budget is just over $12 million, which includes the four percent reduction in expected revenue. Godwin attributed the uptick in revenue to the increase in taxes and utility rates that have been put in place over the past 2 years.
The 2021 fiscal budget does not reflect the $585,000 payment the city received after recently refinancing a municipal bond.
“That money is set aside for infrastructure,” Godwin said.
The 2021 fiscal budget passed unanimously.