Grantsville’s preliminary 2014 budget inched up 3 percent from last year, but the impact on taxpayers should be negligible, the city’s mayor said.
At a presentation of the preliminary budget Wednesday, Mayor Brent Marshall said the city was trying to balance rising costs with rising revenues on the $4 million budget.
“I am happy to report that revenues are slowly increasing, but wish to remain cautiously optimistic and keep a tight rein on our expenses,” said Mayor Marshall at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
“I am proud of the fact that through it all, the city employees have continued to work hard and provide the citizens of Grantsville with quality and cost-effective services,” he added.
The document still has weeks of meetings and adjustments before being presented for public comment and council approval in June.
In expenses, dispatch fees for emergency response services rose 10 percent, while two capital projects — $35,000 to replace street signs and an increase of $78,050 for equipment purchase — also contributed to higher expenses. The increase would not, however, be covered by raising taxes, he said.
An increase of $91,500 in class C road fund allotment and another $130,000 in expected taxes helped to even out the raised costs. No tax increase is expected at this time, Marshall said.
Among the capital improvement projects the city is planning to undertake during the next fiscal year are the construction of restrooms at the Cherry Street Park by the tennis courts, lighting of the park and ride area near the cemetery, repairs to many streets, and a parking lot at Hollywood Park.
Marshall said in addition to input from the public and department heads, the final budget would also depend on the certified tax rate, which the city has not yet received from the state.
“We have no idea what the certified tax rate is going to be and until we get that number a lot of things can change,” he said. “We are not — I repeat, not — looking at a tax increase. But until we get that certified taxrate number, we don’t know what the numbers are going to work out to be.”
Marshall urged input and comment from community members at the two upcoming public hearings on the budget.
“A city’s budget is the most important policy action. It represents an annualized purchasing of incremental progress toward the vision we share for our community and protection of the quality of life for which Grantsville is known,” he said.
“Our citizens expect that the city will continue its proud tradition of providing quality basic services to the community,” he added. “We will continue to partner with our citizen advisory boards, commissions, peer governments and, of course, the public to achieve these goals.”
The public hearings will be held June 4 and June 18 at 7 p.m. at Grantsville City Hall.