Madison budget to drop by $3 million?

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The Madison City Council reviewed the first draft of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which shows a 22 percent decrease from the FY 2016 budget. The total anticipated budget for FY 2017 is $13,853,805, which is $3,319,125 less than this year’s budget.

Karen Stapp, city finance officer, anticipates that in light of the lowered budget, the city will be able to adopt the rollback millage rate this year.

“We just want to let our citizens know, to let our taxpayers know, that we have them in mind,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman.  “We are really trying to control costs. I think we are headed in the right direction.”

According to Stapp, several factors contributed to the budget’s dramatic decrease.

“One of the main decreases is due to the completion of the Madison Public Safety Complex, which was approximately $1.5 million The decrease is also due to the progress of the GEFA Northside Diversion Project.  Approximately 50 percent of this project will be complete by the end of this current fiscal year. The total project cost is $1.6 million,” explainedStapp. Stapp also projected that the city will kick off FY 2017 with a 16 percent fund balance, up from 15 percent this year.

“We have a policy that we have to keep our fund balance between 15 and 30 percent,” said Stapp. “So, 16 percent is very good. We are starting at a good end.”

“In these times, when you have a decrease instead of an increase, that’s a milestone,” said Perriman. “We are proud of our city, staff and council. They all have an input and they want to make the best of our city. We are fortunate.”

The Mayor and City Council will hold the first public hearing on the proposed budget on Friday, May 27 at 8:30 a.m. The hearing will be held the conference room of the Madison Public Safety Complex located at 160 North Main Street.

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