Hazelwood City Manager Edwin Carlstrom tells it like it is. Whether the news about the city be good or bad, he paints a real picture.
At Wednesday's city council work session he gave some good and some bad news about the city's economic outlook.
"Although the economy is recovering and sales taxes are projected to increase slightly in 2013, stagnant property taxes due to the slow recovery in the housing market, as well as increasing gasoline prices, continue to slow the recovery and to cause unpredictability for the city's future," he said. "Therefore, we will continue to monitor revenues and expenditures throughout the 2013 fiscal year."
Some high points Carlstrom mentioned at the meeting include the fact the city's finances are nearing "pre-recession" status.
"The city's finances are getting closer to the highs that were reached in the fiscal year (2007-08)," he said. "The city's largest revenue source, Sales and Use Tax, is projected to be approximately $11.1 million in the fiscal year 2013, which is only $308,814 (4 percent less) than 2008."
Some highlights of the proposed budget, on which will begin holding public hearings closer to the summer include:
- Total revenue for all operating funds totals a $28.98 million budget
- Property taxes will not increase as this is a non-reassessment year
- A predicted 6 percent, or $160,000 increase in business licenses
- Seven new police vehicles are budgeted totaling an expense of $198,000 for the city
- Hazelwood is also looking at constructing a new salt storage facility that will store an entire winter of salt
- The Sewer lateral fee is expected to remain the same at $5. The city currently spends about $80,000 a year in sewer repairs and picks up about $30,000 from residents and businesses from the fee, according to Carlstrom, who also said if the fund drops below $350,000, the city may consider raising the fee amount. It is currently expected to be at $507,977 at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The budget has to be approved before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.
Continue to check back on Hazelwood Patch for new developments in the budget and information on when public hearings will be held.
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