Porterdale looks at cuts to 2011 budget

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

PORTERDALE -- The Porterdale City Council heard the first and second readings of the 2011 proposed budget ordinance Monday night, though some work is yet to be done on the spending plan.

The general fund budget as read Monday is out of balance, with revenue projected at $984,733 and spending at $1,079,415, a difference of $94,682. State law requires local governments to approve a balanced budget. The City Council will meet Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall to hash out the details of balancing the budget. The council is expected to vote on the final version at a called meeting immediately following the work session.

An earlier draft of the budget had proposed revenue at $984,733, with spending at $954,149, for a surplus of $30,500. However, revisions to the budget, including implementation of a retirement plan for city employees and some other changes, increased projected expenditures to $1,079,415. The

proposed budget also includes an expenditure of $6,675 for homeowners tax relief as a result of passage of a $10,000 homestead tax exemption for owner-occupied residences in Porterdale.

The retirement plan is expected to cost the city $14,600 a year for employees in administrative, judicial, public safety and public works departments. Retirement expenses for employees in the water and sewer and sanitation departments are budgeted separately under those funds.

City Manager Bob Thomson said the retirement plan costs roughly $100 per month per employee and he believes the plan is not considered by the council to be a negotiable line item in the budget.

Other expense cuts will be on the table when the council meets to bring the budget into balance.

"We're going to look at everything in terms of expenses," said Thomson. "We will have a balanced budget by the time it needs to be adopted."