Madison Council adopts $14.6 million budget

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Madison Mayor and City Council unanimously voted to approve the FY 2018-2019 budget, coming in at $14,695,070, at the last regular meeting on Monday, June 11.

Madison Mayor Fred Perriman praised City Chief Finance Officer, Karen Stapp, for creating a fiscally-sound budget that decreased by $300,000 from the current fiscal year’s budget.

“You have worked hard on this, and we appreciate it,” said Perriman to Stapp.

Stapp presented an amendment to the originally proposed budget at the last work session, adding about $64,000 to budget to cover the cost of increased pay for city firefighters and $50,000 for the installation of new sidewalks throughout the city.

According to Stapp, the revised FY 2018-2019 budget will still enable the City to adopt the rollback millage rate, which should lower property taxes or keep property taxes relatively flat.

“We don’t know just yet what the rollback rate will be, but we will soon,” said Stapp.

According to Stapp, overall, the City was able to decrease  the new budget due to debts paid off and some project completions.

“It’s mainly due to the pay off of our municipal building, as well as the completion of a warehouse building,” said Stapp last month. “Our Water and Sewer budget has also decreased because of the completion of the Northside Water Diversion project.”

Stapp projects that the City’s fund balance, will hover around 18-19 percent. The fund balance is unassigned monies reserved for a “rainy day.” State law requires a fund balance ratio to stay between 15-30 percent of a municipality’s operating costs. According to the City of Madison’s last completed audit in 2016, the city’s fund balance came in at 19 percent.  The 2017 audit has not yet been finalized, but Stapp anticipates the fund balance will come in around 18 percent.  Stapp is hopeful that the audit for FY 2018 will yield an increase in the fund balance between 20 and 22 percent.

“That’s the goal. A fund balance between 20 and 22 percent is the ideal ratio that is comfortable,” said Stapp.

“We have a consistent, yet conservative, budget and we will continue to monitor expenditures responsibly in the coming year,” said Stapp.

The public hearings for the new millage rate will be held sometime in mid-to-late July.

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