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Farragut’s 2010 budget approved at $5.6 million in revenues

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved, on first reading, the budget for fiscal year 2010.

“Despite the national fiscal crisis, we’re doing very well financially,” Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer said of the staff-prepared budget.

“We are reporting numbers that indicate strong fiscal health. For this year’s budget we are projecting approximately $5.6 million in revenues and approximately $5.2 million in expenditures.

“Even with declining revenues, the Town is continuing to expand its services and programs,” he added.

In May, the Board had two budget workshops, resolving to adopt a number of new fiscal policies, including maintaining a minimum of 30 percent of operating costs in reserve.

“We exceeded that goal; we actually are maintaining 44 percent, or roughly $2.3 million in reserve for the general fund,” Palmer said.

The Board also transferred $500,000 to the land acquisition fund for possible future use, as well as $40,000 to the beautification fund. Other funds, such as the debt service and insurance reserve funds, were zeroed out, and their balances were transferred to the general fund.

Other portions of the budget were “cleaned up,” Palmer said, including taking multiple line items for various community grants and pooling those funds into one “community grant program” line item, with a $50,000 balance.

The schools, which received $10,000 apiece last year, also have one line item, with a $52,000 balance.

“Our intent was to make this a layman’s document and to be more transparent,” Palmer said.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked that the Board look at the best way to handle legal fees in the future, which Mayor Ralph McGill asked be placed on the work program.

In fiscal year 2009, the Town will exceed its budgeted $135,500 for legal fees by more than $124,000, spending an estimated $260,000 by fiscal year’s end.

“Maybe the way we’re doing it now is the best way, but I think where we’re heading as a Town with population increases and the longevity of this community, it’s probably a good discussion to have,” Elliott said.

With Alderman John Williams absent, the Board unanimously passed the budget on first reading subject to a few corrections in numbers and grammar; the second reading will be discussed at the Board’s next meeting, June 25.

Copies of the budget can be found at Town Hall.


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