The City of Richmond has adopted an approximately $7.6 million general operating budget for the next fiscal year – a 4.8 percent increase over the previous spending plan.
Council was not unanimous in their decision to accept the proposed blueprint. Ward I Councilmen Tom Williams and Bob Bond as well as Ward III Councilman Jim Dunwoodie voted against the adoption of the budget on Tuesday. The three men were opposed to the projected purchase of a $30,000 bucket truck. “I think these funds could be used for something else. I don’t think we need to purchase an expensive vehicle to help us change light bulbs,” Dunwoodie said at Tuesday’s meeting.
City Administrator Ron Brohammer told council the truck would be used for tree trimming and other maintenance projects at the waste water plant. The city currently contracts with Kansas City Power and Light for this type of work. Brohammer acknowledge that the equipment might not be necessary at this time and said it is a matter of convenience. The bucket truck has not been purchased and Brohammer said the city was merely trying to set aside $30,000 for the vehicle. In addition to the truck, the city plans to add a couple of police cars to the force and provide raises to city staff in the next fiscal year. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Brohammer:
“The big item and the big news in this budget is the construction costs of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. We have about $5.5 million in the expenditures for this project in the upcoming year,” Brohammer said. “In the General Fund, we are looking at revenues of about $3.1 million. We have approximately $1.6 million in water, $1.7 million in waste water, and $275,000 in solid waste income. You put that all together and we have somewhere in the neighborhood of a $7 million budget.”
The waste water plant construction project is being financed by bonds and a Community Development Block Grant. A series of rate hikes were also enacted to service the debt. The total price tag on the expansion plan is about $10 million. City officials expect to break ground on Aug. 28 at 10:00 a.m.
The FY 2014 budget takes effect on Oct. 1.
Below are a few highlights from Richmond’s budget (click to enlarge):