Sikeston City Council OKs 2011 budget

Thursday, June 17, 2010

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Sikeston's next fiscal year will be all about maintaining reserves while waiting for the economy to recover. City council members approved the city's fiscal year 2011 budget along with the staffing and compensation ordinance during a special meeting Tuesday. The next fiscal year begins July 1.

The budget as approved Tuesday calls for $12,278,454 in expenditures. City manager Doug Friend said comparing that with the $15.2 million in expenditures budgeted for the current year really isn't valid because the latter number was inflated by grant funding.

Revenue for fiscal year 2011 is projected at $12,433,907.

"We had a big airport improvement grant last year in excess of $2.1 million, plus we took out a loan to do the cleanup on the ice storm," Friend said.

"The focus of this council has been to bring in a budget where we're looking to maintain our reserves," Friend said.

Friend said sales tax revenue this year is down 4 percent, or $236,000, as compared to how much the city by this time in 2009.

While the fiscal year 2010 budget called for drawing $1 million from reserves, the city is on pace to reduce that amount, according to Friend. "We're guessing that's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $700,000," he said.

That reduction in the draw from reserves was achieved in part by refinancing the construction debt for the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center, which is now called Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston, saving $176,000.

Cuts to the city's mowing program is saving the city another $100,000.

This fiscal year is still winding down, so final figures are not yet available. "We're hoping to have an ending fund balance of $6.5 million," Friend said.

Friend said the 2011 budget doesn't really have any "big ticket" items in it.

"We've significantly cut requests that were made by the departments for capital improvements," he said.

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