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Green Park budget eyes road improvements in '05


December 29, 2004 - By SCOTT MILLER

Staff Reporter

Road improvements in Green Park in-crease significantly from 2004 under the $1.15 million fiscal 2005 budget unanimously approved by the Board of Alder-men last week.

Aldermen budgeted $200,000 of general revenue to roads, $125,000 or 166 percent more than last year. Also, Green Park's capital improvement budget is $410,000 for fiscal 2005, with all the money devoted to road repairs, said Diana Mize, city clerk and administrator.

Right now, the city plans to replace the concrete on Lisa Marie Court, Plat Drive, Huegel Drive and Guehring Drive west of Mueller Road, Mize told the Call. Lind-bergh Business Court would be overlaid, she added, and minor repairs such as pothole filling will be done throughout the city.

"These are the streets that are proposed right now," she said. "The board still has to approve them."

The maintenance is part of a road im-provement plan adopted earlier this year, she said.

In total, the fiscal 2005 budget projects $741,350 in general revenue spending, a 32 percent increase from 2004's estimated $561,313, according to the budget provided by City Hall.

Of the $180,037 suggested increase in general revenue spending for 2005, nearly 70 percent is dedicated to roads. The re-maining increase is scattered throughout wages, rent, police services, public relations, insurance, engineering and other expenses, each seeing small increases in spending.

Capital improvement expenditures are budgeted at $410,000, a 3.6 percent decrease from 2004's estimated $425,400.

Also, the fiscal 2005 budget projects a 2.2 percent decrease in total revenue to about $1.23 million from $1.25 million estimated in 2004.

Revenues still would exceed expenditures, however, and the city's reserves are expected to grow another 3.3 percent to $2.39 million, including both the general and capital funds' ending balances.

The district hasn't deficit spent since 1999 and its reserve coffer has grown every year since 2000.

General fund revenue is estimated to decrease roughly 2.6 percent to $850,000 in 2005 while capital improvement revenue, generated by a voter-approved half-cent sales tax, is expected to decrease nearly 1.3 percent to $380,000.

Mayor Steve Armstrong said the revenue decrease was only a slight concern. Typi-cally, city officials budget conservatively, he said.

Based on the 2004 budget and its estimated adjustments — information provided by City Hall — city officials overestimated expenditures and underestimated revenues for 2004, meaning less fiscal strain than original anticipated, which was minimal to non-existent anyway.

"You're trying to look into a crystal ball and come up with the best number you can," Armstrong said. "The numbers are as realistic as we can possibly make them. The board is spending the city's finances wisely."

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