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Mayor Gary Crenshaw delivered his annual budget address and a proposed 2009-10 budget to the Lebanon City Council during a special-called meeting May 26.
The proposal includes a decline in revenue and expenditures compared with the projected budget for 2008-09.
"As you are all aware, this year has been traumatic both nationally and locally with the loss of jobs," Crenshaw said.
He added that city officials sympathize with those affected by the economy.
"In a community our size, we are all touched by the misfortune caused by recession," he said.
According to the budget proposal, the city anticipates it will have receipts of nearly $8.5 million during 2008-09. For 2009-10, the city has estimated it will receive less than $8.1 million.
On the expenditure side, the city has projected it will spend more than $7.3 million by the end of this fiscal year. For 2009-10, the city is projecting more than $7.2 million in expenses.
Despite the tough year economically, Crenshaw maintained an optimistic outlook for the city's future.
"This recession will pass, and due to the efforts of this council, your predecessors, and a host of others, we will be well-situated to enjoy the benefits of forward thinking and vision," he said.
The budget figures presented last week are preliminary and therefore subject to change. The council held its first budget work session Monday evening to begin the process of assembling the final projections for the 2009-10 budget.
Crenshaw noted in his address that the city has debt payments on four projects - the park expansion purchase, the park construction loan, the Centre Square loan and a ladder truck loan. He noted that the park purchase loan is on schedule to be paid off in 2010. The other loans are on schedule to be paid off between 2014 and 2016.
"You will find in your review of the budget that the city is in sound financial position, that we have been prudent in overall spending for [fiscal year] 2009 and that we continue to progressively plan, not just for the needs of fiscal year 2010, but the years to follow as well," Crenshaw said.
The mayor identified the following as major budget requests for 2009-10:
• No change in the administrative costs, except for legal expenses and property and liability insurance increases.
• $62,500 in matching funds for the intermediary re-lending program
• Rotating in four police vehicles • E-911 module • Replacement clothing for the fire department
• A new mower and $10,000 for sidewalk replacement for the street department
• Tables, soccer goals, fencing, sod and truck for the park department
• Pump and slide pool repairs for the aquatic center
• Screen belt press and a renovation of the Corporate Drive lift station for the sewer department.
If funds become available, Crenshaw said the council may want to consider using it for a new street sweeper, another sewer video camera, sewer rehabilitation and a new vehicle for the street department.
Crenshaw praised city employees for their hard work, particularly for their efforts in the aftermath of the January ice storm.
Instead of recommending a raise amount for city employees, Crenshaw said the budget projections include the additional costs of 1, 2 and 3 percent raises (which could mean adding up to $65,649 to the expenditures).
"I have taken this approach this year in order to focus on the primary needs of the city with regard to its obligations to the community," he said. "The city employees I hope will remember the generous raises in years past that exceeded yearly increases by other businesses and the county government."
Crenshaw concluded his remarks by saying his goal is to create a solid, progressive and attractive community.
"This budget now rests in your hands," he told the council.