2013 Budge First New Hires in Five Years

The City of Chesterfield adopted a budget Monday night that will bring on five new full-time employees, including two police officers.

After five years without hiring new employees and three years after letting 17 employees go, the city of Chesterfield based a budget for 2013 that will bring on five new hires. 

The new employees consist of three full-time parks department employees and two police officers. The city is expecting to see its sales tax grow by three percent over last year, which will help pay for the additions. 

The city's general fund revenues are projected to grow to one percent to $20.9 million in 2013 due to the sales tax increase and a rise in utility taxes of 2 percent. The bulk of the city's revenue, 80 percent, comes from those two sources -- utility taxes ($7.4 million) and sales tax ($6.3 million). Those gains are tempered by decreases in the city's charges for services and the "other revenue" category, which fell from $378,000 to $169,000. 

Expenditures will also experience modest growth, rising from $18.9 million in 2012 to $20.1 million in 2013, including the hire of the two police officers. After setting aside 40 percent of its operating revenues and making payments on the city's debt from various bond issues, it's expected that Chesterfiled will have $4 million left over for one-time capital projects throughout 2013. 

City Administrator Michael Herring presented the budget to the city council during a public hearing Monday night, the 26th such time he has done so. The city council then later adopted a resolution approving the budget after having previously discussed it during a special work session.  

Herring said that the money spent on the city's infrastructure, employees and services are significant, but well worth it. 

"It's a lot of things that make it a better place to live and improves property values," he said, later explaining that the city's assessed valuations fell only 8 percent since the recession hit in 2008. 

Chesterfield's budget consists of three funds -- capital improvement, parks and general revenue. The capital improvement and parks budgets are funded by separate 1/2-cent sales taxes. 

The new park's employees will be paid out of that fund which will have total revenues of $7.5 million and $7.4 million in expenditures. Revenue for the department is basically flat compared to last year despite the increase sales tax collection, which Herring attributed to a drop-off in one-time grants and insurance reimbursements received n 2012. 

The capital improvement budget is designed to be basically self-funded. It will bring in $5,416,604 million in revenue and have estimated total expenditures of about $300,000 less. Herring encouraged the city council to find ways to spend the balance since that fund does not need to carry a reserve from year to year. 


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