Budget requires dip into reserves

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
The city of Hartselle will be dipping into its own cookie jar to cover the expenses associated with its new budget, but city leaders said they thinks the payoff will be worth the risk.
The council approved its 2006-07 budget Tuesday night. The city is showing revenues of $9.087 million and expenses of $9.28 million. Included in those expenses is some $322,338 in principal and interest payments for the purchase of 19 acres of land on Interstate 65. The city purchased the land earlier the year with the goal of spurring economic development along Interstate 65.
The city will dip into its reserve for the $190,000 to cover the difference. The city will have $5 million remaining in reserves.
Still, the use of reserves worries some council members.
The city was saddled with extra costs this year associated with pay raises for municipal workers and a 7 percent increase in health insurance costs. Employee-related costs account for 62 percent of the total expenses.
The budget does not include any funds for capital improvement projects, money for grant matches or the purchase of a new fire truck.

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