The utilities fund revenue is anticipated at $4.75 million with expenditures at $4.73 million.
Anticipated current revenues without prior year’s surplus is $6.88 million with anticipated expenditures at $8.18 million, giving a projected deficit of about $1.3 million to be transferred from prior year’s surplus.
City Court Judge Kirk Williams, 356 Myrtle St., questioned using surplus funds to balance the budget rather than reducing expenditures, even laying off employees if other reductions cannot be found.
With expenditures going up and revenue going down, in three years the surplus reserve of $4 million will be gone and the city will be bankrupt, he said.
Over the next year revenue and expenditures will be monitored and adjusted to avoid the deficit and prevent laying off employees, Aristead Clayton, finance director, said.
Surplus in utility revenue which goes to the general fund will aid in balancing the budget and ease the deficit, Julie McCulloch, public works director, said.
Other issues considered included:
COUNCIL CHAMBER USE: During the public hearing to restrict use of the council chamber to city meetings and functions only, incoming council member Joyce Burges, 2707 McHugh Road, spoke against the ordinance.
Other rooms are available in city hall and in the nearby public library where meetings can be held, council member Carlon Simpson, who introduced the ordinance, said.
The vote was 3-2 for the restriction with council members Charles Vincent and Robert Young voting against it. Vincent called the restriction “Draconian.”
LEXLEE’S KIDS: A proclamation was read recognizing Attorney Lexlee Overton and Lexlee’s Kids for her work with the Safety Council regarding child-restraint seats. Police Chief Mike “Snapper” Knaps and Fire Chief Danny Edwards presented Overton with certificates.
On April 21 Lexlee’s Kids installed 32 child-restraint seats, 28 of which were donated, at Baker Fire Station. Nine out of 10 seats are incorrectly installed, Overton said.
CONDEMNATIONS: The burned-out house at 4411 Ashland Street, owned by Brian Collins, 6479 Summerlin Dr., Zachary, has been demolished at a cost of $3,100. The owner has filed for bankruptcy and a lien has been placed on the property.
Rosetta Talbert, 3806 Charry Dr., agreed to have Peak Enterprises, Albany, fill in her swimming pool. The cost is $4,100.
A purchase agreement will be signed this week for the houses at 4477 and 4451 Baker Blvd. The houses are being maintained and the grass cut.