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Town budget passes first reading
Second reading slated for tonight


Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the budget for fiscal year 2010-11 on first reading Thursday, May 27.

“We are going to be in good budget shape,” Town Administrator David Smoak told the Board.

“The state of the economy here in Farragut is good. We’ve been very fortunate,” he added.

He outlined the budget, which includes projections of $6,638,622 in revenue and $5,364,287 in expenditures.

Surprisingly, Smoak expects state sales tax shares and the Hall income tax (a state tax based on residents’ investment incomes) to be up next year. Local sales tax is expected to be down slightly.

The Town’s newest revenue source, the automated enforcement cameras, is expected to bring in $175,000 this year, and Smoak is projecting about $240,000 next year.


Mayor Ralph McGill has advocated putting all net proceeds — those above the cost of running the red-light camera program — into community grants. That idea wasn’t voted on at the Board meeting.

The majority of the Town’s total expenditures go to personnel costs. Sixty-one percent of the $5.3 million expenditure projection will go to personnel, including a 3 percent merit increase and a one-time $1,000 bonus for employees who have topped out in their pay ranges.

Other major departmental expenditures include two holdovers from last year: an organizational study of Town employees and a retirement plan study, which together will cost the Town about $30,000.

Smoak said he also was planning to spend next fiscal year developing several plans to outline the Board’s vision and goals, including a comprehensive plan, a strategic plan and a land use plan. Altogether, those would cost about $100,000.

Smoak also wants to revamp the Town’s Web site, and plans to spend a little more than $18,000 there.

“I think we can do a lot with our Web site to make it more user friendly,” he said.

Legal services are expected to cost the Town $165,000 in FY 2010-11. The Town contracts with Kramer Rayson LLP for Town Attorney Tom Hale.

The Town also plans to issue community and school grants up to $156,000 (not counting any red-light camera revenue, should it be allocated to this fund). The Board has yet to vote on the community grant applicants.

Finally, the Town plans several major capital investment projects, for which it historically has budgeted about $2 million a year. For FY 2010-11, that number is coming in at about $1.2 million.

“While we’re still in the black, that is a decline,” Smoak said, adding the Town has seen a 9.5 percent decline in revenue over the last six years.

The CIP projects include the Old Stage Road/Watt Road extension, the Outlet Drive extension, construction of a greenway along Kingston Pike at Willow Creek Golf Course, continuing construction at McFee Park and various improvements to Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

“Many of these projects are grant funded,” Smoak said.

The Board unanimously approved the budget. Second and final reading is Thursday, June 10.

 

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