F’ville considers $9.5 million budget with a millage rate roll-up

The Fayetteville City Council on June 21 got a look at the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013 that begins Aug. 1. Though revenues are expected to be up slightly, the budget reflects a 13 percent decrease in the city’s tax digest figures for 2012.

The proposed budget comes with revenues expected to increase from $9.466 million this year to $9.525 million next year. Proposed expenditures include a .63 percent increase over the current budget, an employee salary and benefits increase of 2.1 percent, a 2.1 percent increase in maintenance and operations, an increase in E911 services and the continuation of the hiring freeze, an updated early retirement program and the continuation of a voluntary reduction of work hours.

Expected to come with a millage rate roll-up when adopted next, the budget reflects a 13 percent decrease in the city’s tax digest for 2012.

The projected millage rate roll-up is being re-calculated due to the council’s move last week to decline merging the city fire department with Fayette County and will be presented for a second reading and adoption in late July. Had that move occurred it would have lowered the millage rate to offset the requirement of city property owners to pay the county’s fire district tax.

Fayetteville for 2012-2013 expects to have 131 full-time equivalent positions. That compares to the 163 FTEs in 2008, a 20 percent decrease in staffing. The city’s years-long hiring freeze will also be in effect next year.

The council at the meeting also approved two early retirement plans that could affect up to 18 employees, a total of 16 percent of the city workforce.

The savings under the new plan will build significantly beginning in 2014, with annual savings projected to be $200,000-$400,000.

City Manager Joe Morton said that because some of those positions would have to be filled the city will work to stagger the retirements so that city services will not be impacted.

Fayetteville in previous years has instituted other early retirement plans and is recognizing savings of approximately $300,000 per year, Morton said.