Don’t expect much change in the 2016-17 Village budget. If anything, there will likely be fewer expenses to match the drop in revenues anticipated for next year.
The Village counts mostly on property tax and sales tax for local revenue. Property taxes will most likely be budgeted to remain the same at about $355,000 in total revenue.
Sales tax will likely be budgeted at the same amount, $375,000 for the year.
Remaining revenues will come from franchise fees, which total $194,500 and licensing and permitting which is running about 20 below budgeted. Most of that is due to fewer zoning and variance requests. The Village budgeted $27,000 in those revenue sources this year but has actually only seen $5,284.18 in revenue.
A contract from James Construction for traffic control duties performed by Salado police injected about $15,000 in added revenues this year, but Salado will see that amount disappear as James Construction finishes its contract in the Salado area.
Total revenues are about 5 percent off so far this year, so that amount may be trimmed from the proposed 2016-17 budget. This would lower the overall revenues to right at $1 million.
The Village budgeted just over $1.06 million in expenses this year, but will probably exceed that due to $47,500 in additional Stagecoach sewer expenses and $16,000 in additional expenses for a police patrol vehicle.
The Village may consider contracting its municipal court totally through the Justice of the Peace. Municipal fines were budgeted at almost $64,000 this year, but actual fines so far have been have been considerably under budget at $25,490.72 through June 2016.
Most expenses this year are under budget except for legal fees which ballooned to $65,980.59. Much of that has been for legal consultations on the two major economic development agreements with Sanctuary and Stagecoach Inn.
However, villagers should expect legal fees to remain high next year as the Village government tackles rewriting its Comprehensive Plan.
Code enforcement will likely remain at $48,485 next year.
Fire protection will remain at $36,000.
Police protection will likely remain at about $325,000.
The Municipal court will also likely remain around $60,000.
Facilities and maintenance may exceed the $57,077 as the Village considers moving a part-time maintenance position to a full-time position.
Street repairs will remain at about $40,000 will Street improvements will remain about $61,000 per year. Main Street improvements will most likely be unchanged next year at $15,000.
Village administrator Kim Foutz said that she hopes to keep the cost of maintaining the Stagecoach Plant at $32,860 next year, provided there is not another major part replacement on the 40-year old plant.
When aldermen vote in September to approve the general operating budget, it is likely to be another deficit budget. However, the Village maintains a fund balance of more than $1 million in current assets.