Oxford approves fiscal year budget

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

OXFORD — The city of Oxford has passed a budget for the second time in about six months.

The city, which is moving from a calendar year budget to a fiscal year, proposed a $4 million budget for the year, which will begin July 1 and continue through June 30, 2012. The budget was unanimously approved by the City Council during a special called meeting Monday.

In December, the council approved a $4.4 million budget for the 2011 calendar year.

The city decided to move to a fiscal year budget to stay in line with most of the other city and county entities in Newton County, which all operate on a fiscal year except for Porterdale, said Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry.

The budget accounts for $4,078,130 in expenditures and $3,969,717 in revenues; the $108,413 difference will be pulled from reserves to balance the budget, according to Roseberry.

City officials expect about $10,000 less in property tax revenues, or $130,000 total, next fiscal year compared to last year, but it expects about $11,000 more, or $304,000 total, in sales tax revenues, according to the budget. The city also expects an $800 increase in revenues from the sale of recycled materials, as more residents are participating in the city's recycling program.

The budget also accounts for a raise for mayor and council members — an increase to $400 per month from about $200 for council members and to $500 per month increase for the mayor.

According to the budget, the city is adding $5,000 to the budget for trail maintenance and treatment and $15,000 for sidewalk improvements. The city also recently approved an increase in the city water rate by 27.5 cents per 1,000 gallons to be in line with increases from Newton County.

The city also swore in new council member David Eady on Monday. Council member Sue Dale resigned from her Post 4 seat earlier this month, and the council approved Eady, who was chair of the city planning commission, to serve the remainder of her four-year term, which began in January 2010.

The planning commission selected commission member Erik Oliver to replace Eady as the chair.