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City expenses exceed budget

By Staff
Mitch Freeman Madison County Record
City of Madison Finance Director Lillie Causey told city council members during the city's mid-year budget review that total revenues are expected to be up by $140,408. Expenses are also expected to be up by $349,421.
The 2003 fund balance was originally projected to be $2,038,741 at the end of the city's fiscal year, Sept. 30. This figure was revised to reflect a projected increase of $237,282 or a fund balance of $2,76,023.
According to Causey's report, expenditures were broken down as follows:
* General Administration – $50,000 was added to fund a retail recruiter. * Police Department – $36,323 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operational items. * Public Works Department – $78,632 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. * City Clerk Department – $7,438 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. * Recreational Department – $61,490 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. The large increase is a result of additional employees required for operation of the new outdoor swimming pool under construction at Dublin Park. * Community Development Department – $16,940 increase to fund a building inspector and related expenses. * Fire Department – $8,317 decrease related to workers compensation. * Court Clerk Department – $63,477 increase to fund a safety incentive, interpreting services and jail expenses. Police Chief Dan Busken said the city of Madison pays the city of Decatur $55 per day, per person, for use of it jail. Much cheaper than operating your own, he added. Huntsville charges are about twice as much. * City Council – $50,334 decrease as a result of transferring the cost for a lobbyist to the legal department. * Finance Department – $9,265 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. * Human Resources Department – $864 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. * Mayor's Office – $4,451 increase to fund a safety incentive, association dues and job health. * Revenue Department – $1,290 increase to fund a safety incentive and other operation items. * Engineering Department – $1,615 increase to fund a safety incentive and salary increases for longevity. * Senior Center Department – $1,240 increase to fund increased hours incurred by the part-time nutritionist and a safety incentive. * Information Technology Department – $959 decrease as a result of a transfer of the cost for software consulting services to the finance department. * Legal Department – $66,030 increase to fund a safety incentive, consulting services and training. * General Services Division – $10,206 increase to fund a safety incentive, repairs for city buildings, worker compensation and to increase security at the municipal complex, as a result of the beginning of the war in Iraq.
The safety incentive referred to in the departmental increases is a reflection of a one-time pay bonus of $59 to eligible city employees who worked accident free during the incentive period.
Dan Busken, Madison police chief obtained approval to apply for a $750,000 grant to fund the purchase of laptops and related equipment for 45 police vehicles. The equipment would allow hook up to local 911 systems, Busken explained.
The police department already has eight of these laptop configurations in operation. Busken said the chances were slim that Madison would actually get the grant. Should the grant be secured, the city would have to provide matching funds for half of the grant.
In other police department business, the council decided to release a bid request for routine patrol car lube and oil changes. It was sited that the city garage is unable to provide this service on a timely and regular basis, which eventually leads to serious maintenance issues to the high-mileage police vehicles.

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