Oxford OKs $4.4 million '11 budget

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON — The city of Oxford has passed its 2011 budget, which is nearly $2 million less than last year.

The Oxford City Council unanimously approved a $4.4 million budget during its monthly meeting on Monday night.

It includes $4.4 million in expenditures and accounts for nearly $4.2 million in revenues. City Administrator Carol Poole said that $251,000 will be pulled from reserves.

"It looks like a deficit on paper, but a balanced budget includes money in the bank," she said, adding that Oxford has about $5 million in reserves.

The borrowed reserve total is less than the nearly $1.5 million the city took from reserves this year to cover part of the new City Hall construction, Poole said.

She added that the budget was more in line with revenues until the council requested the city add a $200,000 electrical project to the budget. It will upgrade the electrical infrastructure of the city and calls for installation of switches that allows for certain areas of town to be turned on and off without having to shut power off to the entire city.

In 2010, the city's revenues were $4.8 million and expenditures were $6.3 million.

In June, the city approved a millage rate of 6.28, which is a rollback rate, meaning the city will collect about the same amount of revenues from taxes as it did this past year with a rate of 5.51.

Also at Monday's meeting, the city council unanimously approved for the city to absorb the projected wholesale electric cost for 2011. Councilman Terry Smith said the increase is 16.6 percent, or about $120,000. As a result, the rate for customers will not increase for 2011.