The Blue Ridge City Council adopted its budget for fiscal year 2013 this week during its December 10th meeting.Compared with this year’s budget, next year’s General Fund shows a significant decrease. In the FY12 Amended Budget, the General Fund was $2, 309,442, where in the FY13 Budget the fund is $2,087,338, which includes both revenues and expenditures. During the budget presentation last month, Mayor Donna Whitener commented that the FY13 budget is tighter than last year’s budget. In part, Whitener says the reason is that the city is sending more revenue to the state in the form of fines, such as those from DUIs.
Increases for FY13 are found in Tax Administration and Licensing, Municipal Court, Police, Recreational Facilities, Planning and Zoning, and Downtown Development. The budget also shows decreases in General Administration, Custody of Prisoners, Highways & Streets, Parks Administration, Park Areas, and Special Facilities-Rental.
Conversely, the Hotel-Motel fund fell significantly from last year. In the 2012 budget, the fund was $96,000. For next year, however, the fund slips to $75,000 on both on the expenditure and revenue side. Here, $45,000 of the fund is slated for Downtown Development projects and $30,000 for Special Facilities.
Additionally, the Water & Sewer Fund will increase next year. For FY13, Water and Sewer is slated for $2,523,080, which reflects an escalating trend over the last two years. In 2011, Water and Sewer was $1,811,931, while this year the fund was $2,005,250. Also, the details of this budget reflect a decrease in Sanitary Administration from $289,400 in FY12 to $162,692 in FY13, in addition to a significant increase for the CDBG Sewer Grant in the amount of $435,300. Increases were also reflected in the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance, Sewage Treatment Plant, Water Administration, Water Supply, Water Treatment and Water Distribution.
Despite the decreases, the budget has a higher bottom line when compared to the $3,923,882 for 2011 and the 2012 amended total of $4,459,392. The total for the new budget is $4,685,418.