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New administration has final say

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
A working copy of the city of Hartselle's budget includes a 4 percent raise for city employees, and additional expenses related to health insurance and retirement costs.
Some of that could change, however, once the new administration takes over Oct. 4.
The city is currently operating under a skeleton budget that allows it to continue paying employees and its bills until the change over. The operating budget also includes flat funding for outside agencies such as the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce.
The new council and mayor will have to make the major decisions -such as capital expenses and any agency increases- regarding the new budget.
Earlier this month, voters swept out incumbent Mayor Clif Knight and four of the five council members. The fifth council member – Dick Carter – was defeated in Tuesday's runoff.
Budget projections show revenues of $7.8 million. The police department is requesting $2 million, a number equal to 25 percent of the city's budget. Other major expense requests include:
The new council will also be considering a 4 percent raise for city employees. If approved, the raises will cost the city an additional $352,124 per year. Projections also show a 9 percent increase in health insurance premiums and a 14 percent increase in retirement costs.
Under the operating budget, the requests leave the city with no deficit. That could change once capital items are added in, however. The city currently has some $4 million in reserves which could be used to cover additional expenses.