Pelham City Council approves $56.5 million budget

The Pelham City Council approved a budget of about $56.5 million for the 2015 fiscal year during a Sept. 22 special-called meeting. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Council approved a budget of about $56.5 million for the 2015 fiscal year during a Sept. 22 special-called meeting. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council approved the city’s fiscal year 2015 budget of about $56.5 million during a special-called meeting on Sept. 22.

Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale noted the fiscal year 2015 budget is $58,470 less than the fiscal year 2014 budget. He also highlighted improvement in the city’s cash position, which has increased by $1.12 million “since this time last year,” and a nearly three percent increase in business licenses since previous year.

“The thought process was to stay conservative, as we always do,” City Council President Rick Hayes said. “We balanced (the budget) to the general fund completely.”

The fiscal year 2015 budget consists of roughly $38.3 million for general expenses, $4.2 million for expenditures at the Civic Complex and Ice Arena, $1.2 million for the Racquet Club, $2.9 million for Ballantrae Golf Club and $9.9 million for the Water and Sewer department.

The Water and Sewer budget includes funds for capital improvements to both the water and sewer systems and replacement of some PVC pipe located throughout the city, Hayes explained during a Sept. 22 Pelham Water Board meeting.

“This is something that we all know that we need, it’s just been a tremendous struggle to get it into the budget,” Hayes said.

The fiscal year 2015 budget was compiled through an interactive process involving meetings between the City Council and each of the city’s department heads.

The meetings allowed department heads and the City Council to work together to prioritize spending, Hayes explained.

“Everybody who needs to get their hands dirty in this process gets their hands dirty like they’re supposed to,” Pelham Mayor Gary Waters said of the city’s budgeting process. “This Council is one of the very few councils that I know of that when you vote on and pass a budget, you know what’s in it.”