Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey is proposing for the city to spend $148 million in fiscal 2016, including millions of dollars for improvements to roads, parks, sewer systems and city buildings.
That’s just 1 percent more than the original budget that was passed for fiscal 2015 a year ago.
Robert Yeager, the city’s finance director, tonight presented highlights from the mayor’s proposed 2016 budget to the City Council.
The mayor is proposing to spend just shy of $100 million from the general fund, which is about $4.2 million more the original 2015 budget. He also proposes to spend $21.4 million on new capital projects, $18.5 million from proprietary funds such as the sewer system fund and $7.9 million from the city’s special revenue fund, which contains earmarked money from sources such as gasoline taxes.
Total revenues for 2016 are projected to come in at $127 million. The $21 million difference between revenues and expenditures will come out of the city’s fund balance, which is estimated to have $57 million at the start of the fiscal year and $36 million at the end of the fiscal year.
The mayor’s capital projects budget includes $3 million for the first payment on a potential purchase of the former Berry High School campus from the Hoover school board. However, the city is still in talks with school officials about that purchase.
The proposed capital budget also has about $4.4 million for road improvement projects, including $1.5 million for improvements and sidewalks on Old Columbiana Road, $750,000 for improvements along Braddock Drive from Lorna Road, and $300,000 for pavement repairs and resurfacing on Atkins-Trimm Boulevard.
The mayor’s capital budget contains more than $3 million for parks and recreation projects. That includes $647,500 in renovations and improvements to the Hoover Recreation Center, $615,000 to build a large open-area park with a parking lot and walking trail near the Cahaba River in Riverchase, $525,000 for improvements to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (including a new electronic video board), $305,000 in improvements to Hoover Sports Park West, $250,500 in improvements to Hoover Sports Park East, and $140,000 in improvements to the sports complex at Spain Park.
The capital budget also includes almost $3 million in upgrades to the police and fire dispatch communications and computer systems, $2.5 million for renovations to the Hoover Municipal Center, $1.87 million for sewer system improvements, and $1.5 million to replace the second half of the roof at the Hoover Public Safety Center.
The budget includes $2.4 million for 47 vehicles, all but three of which are replacement vehicles. The three new vehicles would include a 7-passenger Dodge Caravan for the library and two new trucks for two new building inspectors the mayor proposes to hire.
Ivey proposes to spend about 58 percent of the city’s $100 million general fund on personnel, including money for eight new full-time employees and 12 new part-time positions that together are expected to cost $863,000.
New full-time positions he wants to add include three public safety telecommunicators, two building inspectors, an electrician, a revenue auditor and an administrative assistant. New part-time jobs would include five firefighters, two reserve police officers, a detention officer, a police records specialist, a library assistant, a library page and two seasonal crew workers.
Some of those new jobs are positions that the city eliminated through attrition during tougher economic times, Yeager said. The revenue auditor likely will generate three times as much money as it will cost to pay his or her salary and benefits, he said.
The mayor also is proposing $347,000 worth of upgrades in employee pay and/or hours, including a $20,000 pay raise for the municipal court director and $17,000 pay raise for the city clerk.
About $2 million of the proposed $3.2 million increase for personnel is for step pay increases, Yeager said.
Other proposed general fund expenditures include $9 million for debt service, $7.2 million for solid waste disposal, $5.4 million for supplies, software, postage and computers, $3.4 million for utilities, $3.4 million for repairs and maintenance and $2.1 million for fuel and parts, Yeager said.
The city expects to collect $106 million in revenues for the general fund, including $68.4 million in sales and use taxes, $10.4 million in property taxes, $6.6 million in utility taxes, $6.6 million from other taxes, $5.8 million from business licenses, $2.2 million from building permits and $6.1 million from other revenue sources, Yeager said.
Operating expenses are expected to rise by about $1.3 million in fiscal 2016, and $592,000 of that is for an increase in garbage pickup expenses, he said. The city recently rebid its garbage contract. The low bidder, Santek, will be paid $572,981 a month, or $6,875,000 a year.
Yeager asked the council to review the mayor’s budget proposal, submit any questions to him or the mayor and hopefully vote on the budget at the Oct. 19 council meeting.
The 2016 fiscal year actually began Oct. 1, but the council recently voted to extend the 2015 budget until the 2016 budget is approved.