City Manager Bruce Slagle presented the 2018 budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 at a public hearing held Monday night. The budget sets the financial course for the city and defines the service priorities provided to the community. The annual budget identifies and determines the sources of revenue for the city, establishes spending limits and provides authorization for spending activities during the fiscal year.

The total budgeted expenditures for fiscal year 2018 are estimated at $15,767,258 with total revenues estimated at $13,906,438. The expenditures exceed revenues by $1,860,820 and Slagle said they will be funded by project reserves and unreserved fund balances. The additional expenditures are for inter-fund transfers, planned capital equipment purchases, planned capital improvement projects and carry-over improvement projects.

Slagle explained the city's total adjusted property valuation for this budget year increased by 4.5631% over the prior year's valuation. This was, in part, due to two Chapter 100 Finance projects expiring. "This places Home Decorators and Graf's Reloading Center properties on the tax roll," Slagle said.

Other issues touched on by the city manager included: unemployment rate continually remains below state and federal rate; sales tax receipts are down as compared to last year's budget; lodging tax receipts are stable compared to last year; gross receipts tax income is down due to lower natural gas prices, a decrease in water consumption and fewer residents with telephone land lines; Special Road District No. 13 has discontinued funding support to the city for street and road maintenance; and the Audrain County Human Society has decreased its funding to the city for support of the animal shelter operation. "This has eliminated a full-time position at the animal shelter," Slagle explained.

Other budget issues include increases in recurring expenditures and cost of replacing equipment.

Assessed property values at a percentage of market value include: commercial property, 32 percent; personal property, 33.3 percent; residential property 19 percent and agricultural property 12 percent. Tax rates are at $100 of assessed value.

As reported at an earlier city council meeting, the city property tax revenues for 2018 is at $0.7190 for an estimated revenue of $1,122.478.

Insurance rates are estimated to increase from last year. Property and liability insurance renewal rates are estimated to increase by five percent over last year. Employee health insurance is estimated to increase 14 percent effective January 1, 2018. Dental insurance premiums are estimated to increase by eight percent effective January 1, 2018.

The total amount funded for outside charitable and contract agencies for 2018 will be a total of $84,900.

In the general fund, revenues are $5,403,635 with expenditures $5,909,143, with expenditures greater by $505,508. The general fund is the operating fund of the city which includes Public Safety, administration, finance, emergency management, engineering, forestry, cemetery, community development and street maintenance.

The estimated revenues for the wastewater operational fund are $3,036,620 and operating expenditures are estimated at $2,738,825 plus an inter-fund transfer of $781,013 to the wastewater debt service fund and a project reserve of $80,000 for total expenditures of $3,599,838.

Revenues for the sanitation fund are estimated at $588,940 and expenditures for operations are estimated to be $585,685; plus a project reserve for equipment replacement for $10,000 for total expenditures of $595, 685. The ending fund balance is estimated at 41 percent. Slagle said there will be a 3 percent adjustment in sanitation rates effective with the April 2018 billing.

Revenues for economic development are estimated at $210,550 with expenditures of $223,215; parks and recreation revenues are estimated at $1,083, 724 with expenditures of $1,264,819; Public health and animal control revenues are estimated at $323,693 with expenditures of $366,132. In addition to eliminating a full-time position at the animal shelter, the shelter will be closed on Sunday.

Budgeted airport funds for fiscal year 2018 are estimated at $229,970 and expenditures are estimated at $230,399. A $32,000 transfer from the general fund and a $25,000 transfer from the capital improvement sales tax fund is being made to support operations and provide a grant match.

The dedicated capital improvement sales tax and investment income is estimated to bring in $814,600 in revenue to support this fund.