Members of the Maryville City Council gathered for a rare daytime meeting Thursday in order to go through details of the new municipal budget, which the five-member governing board must pass before the end of this month.
City Manager Greg McDanel had only been on the job seven months when the current year's spending plan was approved, so the fiscal 2014 budget will be the first to bear his full imprint.
The blueprint is also the first budget designed fully within the context of a comprehensive growth and development plan adopted by both the council and the City Planning & Zoning Commission in late 2012.
Proposed spending based on recommendations set forth in that plan include $75,000 for a continued effort to demolish abandoned and derelict properties along with $375,000 for asphalt overlays, which will be used to repave about three linear miles of city streets.
The asphalt overlay budget is nearly four times that of 2012-'13, when transportation revenues were diverted to two full street reconstructions, South Munn and South Depot, projects that together cost more than $3 million.
Other upcoming projects complimenting the comprehensive plan include new pavement, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping along Fourth Street between downtown and Northwest Missouri State University.
Cost of Phase I of the new Fourth Street "streetscape" is estimated at $1.4 million, with more than $900,000 already in hand thanks to grants through the state departments of transportation and economic development.
The budget calls for completion of at least part of the streetscape initiative during the upcoming fiscal year, with construction scheduled for March through August of 2014.
Singled out for special attention in the coming year is the New Nodaway Humane Society animal shelter, which would receive $112,000 in city funds assuming its line-item is approved. The proposed subsidy is $30,000 more than the city contributed last year to the shelter, which has struggled to make ends meet for years.
If adopted as currently written, Maryville's General Fund budget for 2013-'14 will be just over $7.6 million, a figure based on projected revenues of $6.4 million with the $1.2 million difference to be made up from an existing $2.5 million fund balance.
According to McDanel's report, the carryover spending should still leave the city with a fund balance of at least $1.2 million at the close of September 2014, which is within the 20-percent-of-spending margin the city considers an adequate reserve.
On other fronts, the council went over proposed spending at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, which totals $2.1 million, or about $113,000 over anticipated revenues.
Again, the deficit is to be made up from the existing fund balance, but McDanel said expenditures — especially for capital improvements — have been figured on the high side and will probably even out over the course of the year.
However, McDanel emphasized that the lake's recreational offerings, especially the 18-hole public golf course, are dependent on continuation of a half-cent city sales tax that expires in 2017.
Page 2 of 2 - Failure of voters to renew the tax, he said, would strip nearly $1 million away from Mozingo's budget and likely force a drastic reduction in services.
Mounting a campaign to convince Maryville voters to extend the tax should be one of the council's top priorities, McDanel said.
"It's going to be a task, and it needs to start now," he said.
The need for tax revenue in order to subsidize Mozingo is illustrated by budget figures for 2011-2012, the last year for which complete totals are available.
According to McDanel, the golf course had $879,717 in direct expenses that year, excluding capital outlay and debt service, but took in only $578,260 in direct revenue.
Other park maintenance costs totaled $657,336 with revenues from RV camping, cabin rentals, fees and other income adding up to to $417,456.
That same year, Mozingo sales tax revenue came to $932,995, which was used to subsidize the golf course and other facilities as well as capital outlay, debt service and law enforcement costs.