Alabaster budget includes park, road projects

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster City Council voted during its Oct. 1 meeting to approve a fiscal year 2013 budget including raises for city employees, funding for lights at the city’s soccer fields and several road projects.

During the meeting, the council approved a general fund revenue budget a little more than $24 million and a nearly $23.7 million general fund expense budget. The council also passed a $5.3 million sewer revenue budget, a $4.8 million sewer expense budget, a $1.8 million garbage revenue budget and a $1.7 garbage expense budget.

Alabaster Mayor David Frings, who worked to prepare and present the budget to the council, said the city likely will exceed its projected fiscal year 2012 revenue numbers by about $2.5 million. The 2012 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, and city officials are waiting for the final numbers to come in.

“After finishing fiscal year 2012 with revenues exceeding budget and expenses being well contained, there is reason to be optimistic about the upcoming fiscal year financial outlook,” Frings wrote in a letter to the council.

The 2013 general fund budget includes a 2 percent cost of living pay raise for city employees. Alabaster employees still progressing through their pay scale “steps” will also receive a 5 percent raise.

The budget also includes money set aside to possibly fund projects such as a kid-friendly splash pad at Veterans Park, lights at the city’s soccer fields, upgrades to the Veterans Park batting cages and several new pieces of equipment for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Funding for a new fire truck and two new basketball courts also was included in the budget. Every project and purchase in the budget must be separately approved by the City Council.

The city also is planning to provide matching funds if awarded several grants to complete road-improvement projects. Included in the budget was money to match grants to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Shelby County 80 and Alabama 119, widen Alabama 119 south of Fulton Springs Road, resurface roads and widen Thompson Road from the Southwind neighborhood to Alabama 119.