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Mayor breaks tie, ’12-13 budget plan passes

September 26, 2012

By NATHAN GREGORY
citybeat@starkvilledailynews.com

Mayor Parker Wiseman broke a 3-3 deadlock on a resolution to approve Starkville’s upcoming fiscal year budget during a recess board of aldermen meeting Wednesday.

Ward 2 Alderman and Vice Mayor Sandra Sistrunk moved approval with Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas seconding. Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey represented the other vote in support. Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver, Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn voted against passing the budget. Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker was absent from the meeting.

The budget has an anticipated revenue of $16,841,982, which reflects budget revenues being $12,415 short of the projected $16,889,397 2012 budget but $450,101 more than the initial anticipated 2012 budget as it was approved last year.

Ad valorem taxes will account for $3,922,500, or 23.3 percent of the budget — a $10,000 (or one-tenth of a percent) increase from the 2011-12 ad valorem amount of $3,912,500.

The budget does not involve a millage increase. The millage rate for Starkville residents imposed by the city is 20.

Sales tax collection will increase 2.75 percent to $5,636,366 for fiscal year 2012-13 as a result of the board’s commitment to fund a new municipal complex.

The city faces litigation regarding the complex. Starkville resident William McGovern filed an objection to the new facility plan earlier this month. A hearing in Oktibbeha County Chancery Court, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 10, has been moved to Nov. 1.

Carver said the possibility of a ruling against the city is the sole reason he chose not to approve the budget.

“I’m not comfortable voting on a budget that has got municipal complex funding in it when we don’t even know what’s fixing to happen with the finalization of the hearing.”

Compared to the 2011-12 projections, which list Starkville Police Department’s budget at $3,492,389, the 2012-13 proposed document lists SPD’s budget at $3,644,140. Starkville Fire Department’s budget in the 2011-12 projections is $3,331,233 — $89,994 less than 2012-13’s $3,421,227.

The budget for the water and sewer departments totals $9,455,409 for the proposed 2012-13 budget — $623,182 more than the $8,832,227 set aside in the 2011-12 budget.

The projected ending fund balance for 2012-13 is $628,685. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The board’s next scheduled meeting is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the City Hall courtroom.

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