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City Council Passes First Reading of Budget

Daniel Prince

Overall budget increases by 18.29% over last year; general fund budget up 4.6%

Union City Council had a lot to cover at its meeting last night, with 12 total agenda items to address. One of the biggest items was first reading of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-2023. Finance Director Laura Hembree presented a summary of the budget at the meeting. The All Funds budget, encompassing the General Fund, Utility Fund, Solid Waste Management Fund, and six other special revenue funds totals $48,913,470, an increase of 18.29% over last year.

The largest part of that increase is in the Utility Fund, which totals $40,300,510, an increase of 21.84% over last year. The wholesale costs of electricity and natural gas are projected to increase dramatically. Projected utility revenues are $36,937,070, leaving a deficit of $3,363,440 in the utility fund, which will be funded by retained earnings. The city will not raise any of its utility rates this year. The Purchase Power Adjustment will be calculated this year in computing the monthly electric rates. It has not been calculated this fiscal year. The Purchase Gas Adjustment will also be calculated, trueing up the cost of gas each month.

The general fund will increase by 4.6% over the current fiscal year. The total general fund budget is $7,013,540, while projected revenue is $6,261,130. The deficit of $752,410 will be funded by the fund balance. There is no millage increase proposed this year, so the millage rate will remain at 93.5 mills. A $5 disposal fee will be added to the tax notices. The largest part of the budget continues to be the Public Safety Department, which is 59.9% of the general fund budget. Three new firefighters are proposed for the department in this year’s budget.

The Solid Waste Management Fund’s budget will see a decrease of 4.3% this year to $871,330.
The budget includes a 2% cost-of-living raise for city employees.

Hospitality and accommodations money will be used to fund outside agencies and tourism-related events and activities. $303,000 is the total hospitality and accommodations budget. The Main Street Junction budget will increase to $160,090, which includes money for a full-time director, who will also help Gloria Rogers at City Hall.

City Council unanimously passed first reading of the budget ordinance and first reading of the tax levy ordinance.

We’ll have more from the City Council meeting in tomorrow’s newscast.

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