County studies FY 2004 budget

Shelby County’s budget process for fiscal year 2004 is under way.

Preliminary figures indicate the budget will feature some 73.3 million in expenses and some $73.8 million in revenues for a balance of about $356,033.

County Commissioner Don Armstrong, a member of the commission’s finance committee, said he hopes to vote on the county’s new budget during the second meeting in September.

The budget estimates revenues for the general fund at $41.4 million; $9.7 million for the highway department; $820,060 for miscellaneous; and $21.9 million for enterprise funds.

Enterprise funds include the landfill operations fund, the water system operations fund and the sewer system operations fund.

The total estimated revenues come to $73.8 million compared to $65.4 million in the fiscal year 2003 budget.

County finance manager Butch Burbage said revenues are based on an 8 percent increase from last year’s numbers.

&uot;Reappraisal numbers (from the Shelby County tax assessor’s office) are not in yet,&uot; he said. &uot;We have fared well (the last few years) by living on past history.&uot;

Estimated expenses include $40.9 million from the general fund; $9.7 million from the highway department; $820,060 from miscellaneous funds; and $21.9 million from enterprise funds.

The budget for next year makes allowances for the county to hire eight new employees including one electrical inspector for the Department of Development Services; one new road superintendent/assistant operations manager for the Highway Department; one system network analyst for the Management Information Systems Department; one mapper/GIS tech for MIS and Property Maintenance Department; two new utility technicians for Water Services; one clerical position for the Sheriff’s Department; and one deputy for the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Chris Curry asked the commission for six additional deputies and two additional clerical positions. These were not included in the commission’s preliminary budget, however, and Armstrong said if permitted, must come from the leftover amount of about $200,000.

A 19 percent increase was budgeted for family health insurance coverage and a 15.9 percent increase was budgeted for single health coverage.

According to the Retirement Systems of Alabama, Armstrong said, there would be a 1 percent increase in retirement which would amount to some $160,000.

The commission is also considering a cost of living increase for employees, Armstrong said.

Outside agencies requested almost $2.6 million for the upcoming fiscal year. For the current year, the commission granted some $1.7 million to outside agencies. The proposed budget that the commission is considering includes level funding for those who received funding last year with no new agencies added.

Agencies requesting funding this year include:

Alabama Cooperative Extension System – requested $50,000 (level with last fiscal year).

Alabama Forestry Commission – requested $20,000 ($15,000 last year).

Alabama Youth Foundation (DAY program) – requested $6,300 ($3,300 last year).

Aldrich Coal Mine Museum – requested $20,000 ($5,000 last year).

ARC Kids First – requested $28,000 ($25,000 last year).

Metropolitan Development Board – requested $40,000 ($2,500 last year).

Birmingham Museum of Art – requested 25,000 (new request).

Paratransit/ClasTran – requested $53,900 and a $23,400 grant match (level with last year).

Central Alabama Women’s Business Center – requested $20,000 (new request).

Family Connection – requested $40,000 ($38,000 last year).

Harrison Regional Library – requested $401,509 including $386,040 operating funds, $3,000 van match and $12,469 grant match ($369,284 last year).

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera – requested $292,465 ($117,000 last year).

Shelby County Historical Society – requested $29,000 including $26,400 for operations and $2,600 for maintenance ($26,000 last year).

Department of Human Resources – requested $15,000 (level with last year).

Shelby County Humane Society – requested requested $333,600 ($300,000 last year).

Shelby Iron Works – requested $10,000 ($8,000 last year).

KidOne Transport – requested $15,000 (new request).

McWane Center – requested $20,000 (level with last year).

M4A (Middle Area Agency on Aging) – requested $35,000 (level with last year).

The Owens House, Shelby County’s Advocacy Center – requested $7,200 (level with last year).

Pediatric Rehab – requested $10,000 (new request).

Regional Planning Commission – requested $24,151 ($23,002 last year).

Senior Aides – requested $3,250 (level with last year).

SafeHouse – requested $29,248 ($9,000 last year).

SCEIDA – requested $365,000 ($300,000 last year).

RSVP – requested $41,000 ($36,000 last year).

Shelby Emergency Assistance – requested $15,000 ($6,000 last year).

Shelby Senior Services – requested $172,612 with $157,512 for operations, $4,000 for van maintenance and $11,100 for transportation (level with last year).

Harrison Museum – requested $24,000 ($18,000 last year).

Soil & Water Conservation – requested $37,442 with $600 in dues ($27,600 last year).

Alabama Symphony – requested $20,000 (level with last year).

Shelby Resource Center – requested $10,900 (new request).

Birmingham Zoo – requested $200,000 (new request)