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City Administrator recommends a “hold the line” budget

 Raytown, MO? This evening the Raytown Board of Aldermen voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2013/14 Proposed Budget presented to them by City Administrator Mahesh Sharma. Mr. Sharma indicated that fixed costs such as payroll, debt service and insurance as well as number external factors such as fuel prices, salt prices, interest rates and reduced consumer spending have significantly impacted our budgeting ability. Even in the face of these issues, the city is able to present a fully balanced budget.

 “A lot of work has gone into this budget by city staff, identifying savings and often times deferring replacement, enhancement and additions to reach an effective and efficient budget.” said Mahesh Sharma. “Given the current economic climate, the budget strives to limit the financial burden placed on our residents,  I am pleased that we will not be increasing our residents’ sewer rates or property levy.”

 The budget was developed using the standards set forth by the Government Finance Officers Association.  The total budget for the city is $29.04 million. The budget for the general fund, the city’s primary operating fund is $13.3 million –a slight increase from last year’s $12.9 million or a 2.8 percent increase. Raytown’s city staff has been successful in obtaining $2.6 million in grant money for our current budget.

 “Through no easy task, our city staff has given us a budget that is thorough but easy to understand.” said Mayor David Bower. “I encourage any resident of Raytown who has a question about the city budget to take the time to read through the document. You will be able to see how the monies are spent by department.”

 Mr. Sharma detailed some of the many accomplishments that the city has made over the past year that have positively affected our city. Some of those accomplishments included:  

  • Refunding of Sewer Bond resulted in saving of $150,000 
  • Narrowed the gap between EMS revenue and expenditures 
  • Installation of Google Fiber 
  • Success with Mental Health Court 
  • Adopted 2012 International Construction Codes & 2011 National Electrical Code 
  • Complete Demolition of two dangerous buildings 
  • City received better ISO rating 5 to 4 (lower the number-better the rating). 
  • Improved Citizen communication via Electronic Newsletter and social media 
  • Installation and Implementation of new finance software that increases efficiency 
  • Completed Colman Park tennis court renovations and new playground equipment at Kenagy and Minor Smith Parks 
  • Substantially completed construction of communication radio tower 
  • Moving Police Officers Pension to LAGERS

 “To protect the City’s financial condition while working toward strategic goals, a conservative and cautious approach was taken in projecting revenues and budgeting expenditures,” said Sharma. “We are confident that the result of this budget is to meet the expectations of a vibrant city that is still evolving 63 years after it was founded.”

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