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New year gets underway 

By Randy Garrison

Hartselle Mayor

As of this past Friday, the City of Hartselle, along with other government agencies, began a new fiscal year. The year 2021-2022 is now underway.  

The previous fiscal year ended in a positive manner for the city. Revenues exceeded the budget amount, and expenses were lower than were previously budgeted. In a financial report card, this would receive a grade of an “A.”  

Revenues were up in most areas over the prior year, including sales tax, business license and property taxes.  

Most municipalities such as ours operate in large part on sales tax. Sales tax revenues for the City of Hartselle account for 58 percent of the city revenue. Business license accounts for another 7 percent of the total revenues.  

This is a great reason to spend your dollars in Hartselle: With increased sales tax revenue and businesses license revenue, more upgrades to city services and improved quality of life measures can be made. 

The total budgeted revenue for this fiscal year is budgeted at $15,347,827.08. This is the largest revenue budget the City of Hartselle has operated under.  

Sales tax is budgeted this year at $8,900,000; this does not include the 1 percent sales tax that is earmarked for the payments on bonds for the high school. Business license revenue is budgeted at $1,080,000; this line item continues to grow as revenue from businesses operating in the City of Hartselle continues to increase. 

Alcohol revenue increased again this past fiscal year, and $350,350.00 is budgeted for this year, with Hartselle City Schools receiving 15 percent of this revenue. Approximately $49,350.00 will be shared with the school system for alcohol revenues collected during the past year. 

For 2021-2022, expenditures are budgeted at $13,292,897. This includes payroll expense and operating expenses. Payroll is budgeted at 8,609,653.28, or 56 percent of the revenue budget.  

The expense side of the budget also includes payment on a $14,000.000 bond issue that was approved recently to construct a new library and fire station, remodel the fire station, make upgrades at Sparkman Park and construct an event center. 

This year’s budget includes a 3.5 percent Cost of Living Adjustment, along with a one-step merit increase for those employees with a satisfactory result on their annual evaluation. This amounts to an approximate 2.5 percent increase.  

The City of Hartselle has approximately 105 full time employees when at full staff.  

This budget year also includes $1,629,178.32 in capital improvement items and or projects. Expenditures will include four new police vehicles, new garbage truck, engineering expenses for roadway projects, turnout gear for firefighters, excavator for public works, state route traffic study for major intersections, replacement of traffic lights on Highway 31 and Bethel Road, new mower for parks and recreation and a machinery storage shop for Sparkman Park as well as other capital fund needs. 

The City of Hartselle will also be purchasing property on the corner of Nix Street and Montainview to increase the parking for flag football. Additional parking is also planned for Sparkman Park as part of the upgrades that will take place with the help of the bond funds. 

The alcohol revenue, less the school portion, will be put toward new police cars and heavy equipment for Public Works. 

Additional paving projects will be taking place as well, which are paid from gasoline taxes, which the City receives from the State of Alabama.  

The City of Hartselle also increased the General Fund reserve again this year. This is a sign of a healthy economy as well as sound financial planning. 

This is a basic overview of the 2021-2022 budget for the City of Hartselle. Thanks to all who support our city with your tax dollars; this will improve the quality of life for all who call our city home.