Alabaster OKs $25 million budget, raise for employees

The Alabaster City Council approved an about $25 million budget during a Sept. 25 meeting. (File)

The Alabaster City Council approved an about $25 million budget during a Sept. 25 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster city employees will their first cost of living raise since 2012 beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, after the City Council approved an about $25 million budget during a Sept. 25 meeting.

The council voted unanimously during the meeting to approve a 2015 fiscal year general fund budget including about $25.5 million in revenues and $25.1 million in expenditures.

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said the 2015 fiscal year budget “conservatively forecasts” an about 2 percent increase in sales tax revenues over the 2014 fiscal year, and remains flat in its projection of ad valorem tax revenues.

In addition to a 2 percent cost of living increase for all city employees, the expenditure budget also includes funding for an IT professional at City Hall to provide technology support to all city departments, an administrative assistant position at the Public Works Department and a dedicated landscaping crew to handle all landscaping duties on city property.

As projected, the city will end the 2015 fiscal year budget with $376,528.95 more in revenues than expenses in the general fund budget, Handlon said.

“Our current plan is to re-evaluate our position in February, after business license renewal, ad valorem receipts and holiday sales bump,” Handlon wrote in a letter she read to council members during the meeting. “If our expectations are realized, we should be able to purchase, without financing, two or three new police vehicles.”

The council also approved sewer and garbage budgets for the 2015 fiscal year during the meeting.

The sewer budget includes about $6.1 million in revenues and about $6 million in expenditures, and includes funding for a grease recycling program brought to the city for consideration in August by Councilman Rick Walters.

The garbage budget includes about $1.91 million in revenues and about $1.9 million in expenditures, and includes funding for a commercial lawnmower and a new knuckle boom truck.