By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore City Council members voted unanimously during their Tuesday, October 15, meeting to approve a $12 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20.
The budget is based on projected revenues of $12,154, 450 — nearly three-fourths ($8.9 million) of which will come from sales taxes ($6 million), business licenses ($1.5 million) and ad valorem taxes ($1.4 million). That total is up about a quarter-million over the current year, a half-million over two years ago.
“The revenues have increased some each year, and that’s good,” City Clerk Becca Smith said.
Smith pointed out that the document isn’t written in stone.
“The budget is basically just a plan,” she said. “I didn’t put in any raises. I did put in for a new city barn and five new police cars, but the rest is pretty much like last year, based on the increase in revenues.”
The lion’s share of the budget will again go to Atmore Police Department, of which $2.984 million was allocated. The “Subsidies & Appropriations” category includes $2.558 million, while $2 million was set aside for operating the streets and sanitation department, $1.55 million for Atmore Fire Department and $1.484 million for general government.
The remainder of allocations ranged from $29,700 for Atmore Municipal Airport to $325,900 for buildings and inspections. Others include $261,300 for Atmore Public Library; $218,100 for municipal courts; $207,300 for cemetery upkeep, and $204,850 for parks and recreation. City beautification got $148,600 and $174,300 for operate the city landfill.
In other action during the October 15 session, the council:
*Approved the use of Houston Avery Park for the Young Entrepreneurship Festival, slated for Saturday, November 16;
*Issued a proclamation for Poppy Month. This year’s Miss Poppy Ansley Emmons, and Little Miss Poppy Jordan Slater were introduced to the council.
*Approved a resolution applying for state matching funds for an airport improvement project.
*Authorized the demolition of a sub-standard structure located at 214 Mobile Street. All notifications have been made to the property owner.
*Elected to put all city employees under the same retirement benefits plan, a move represents an increased cost to the city of about 1.78 percent of its payroll for qualified employees.
*Let bids for the cleaning of several ditches in the city.