Silverhill Town Council passes $2 million budget


SILVERHILL, Alabama — The Town of Silverhill will be operating with a slight budget surplus for 2019-20 after the Silverhill Town Council passed its budget at the Oct. 7 meeting.

The 2019-20 budget includes total revenues of $2,158,977 and expenses of $2,126,250 for a projected surplus of $32,727. With actual total revenues of $2,196,842.54 for 2018-19 and expenses of $2,215,260.82, a $32,508.99 deficit, if the town stays on budget for the next fiscal year, it will end up with a surplus of $3,218.47.

Additions to this year’s budget included $5,000 for façade grants, said Mayor Jared Lyles.

“We are looking to offer grants to owners of buildings along 104 and 55 that are rehabilitating or fixing up buildings or improving the look of downtown,” he said. “We will be developing criteria and applications for people who are interested in applying.”

The council also budgeted $5,000 for special events, “with the goal to grow to holding one community event each month,” said Lyles.

The first new event is the Fall Affair on the Square, which will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2. For more information visit the town of Silverhill’s Facebook page.

“Other events being considered are movie nights, specialty classes, like the youth baking class being offered in November,” Lyles said.

The town is also allocating $25,000 to a special account, which will act as a savings account for road paving.

“Our plan is to continue to fund that account each year, and hopefully with the help of grants, we will begin to pave all of the streets needing paving in town,” Lyles said.

The council also added funds for a part-time secretary for the police department.

The largest revenue for the town is tax revenue with a projected income of $558,077, up from a projected $541,100 a year ago with actual tax revenue coming in at $555,444.84.

But municipal court revenues are projected to come in at $519,500 after actual revenues for 2018-19 came in at more than $200,000 projected, $532,379.63, compared to a budgeted $325,050.

The council also budgeted an increase in Utility Fund revenues at $550,000, up from a projected $494,150 from last year’s budget after actual revenues came in at $558,145.86.

After budgeting $436,100 for the fire department last year with actual revenues coming in at $253,008.18, the town backed up to a projected $203,100 in projected revenues for 2019-20.

Other revenues included Building Department, $90,750; General Fund, $116,650; Police Department, $59,050; Heritage Day, $10,600; State Gas Revenue, $15,350; Library, $9,700; Community Center, $8,000; Parks and Recreation, $9,200; Little Hall, $9,000.

General fund expenses are projected at $506,750, up from $454,250 last year with actual expenses coming in at $463,868.45. Utility Department expenses are estimated at $517,850, up from $464,611 with actual expenses of $484,163.51.

Police Department expenses are projected at $356,800, up from $319,490.57 with actual expenses of $292,726.41. Expenses for the fire department are projected at $200,200, down from a projected $434,412.72 with actual expenses coming in at $432,907.32.

Other expenses for the town include, Municipal Court, $351,850; Sanitation and Street, $63,500; Building Department, $30,850; Library, $15,500; Mayor and Council, $19,500; Parks and Recreation, $32,500; Heritage Day, $6,200; Community Center, $15,500; State Gas Tax, $2,900; Little Hall, $6,350.

In other business Oct. 7, the council approved a resolution to apply for a Roadway Improvement grant through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Alan Killen with Civil Southeast told council members that, through the state gas tax revenue, grants would be available beginning in 2019-20. The town can apply for a grant of $250,000.

“Since this is our first year to apply for a grant, it may be a longshot for this year, but it’s worth a try and we’ll keep trying if we don’t get it this year,” Killen said.

Killen said he asked Superintendent of Utilities Scottie Smith to present a list of roads for pavement. The list includes First Street, Second Street, Third Street, Fourth Street, Seventh Avenue South, Ninth Avenue North and South Avenue.

Killen also told council members that the town did not qualify for a grant for improvements to Oscar Johnson Park and that he was encouraged to reapply for the grant next year.

Also on Oct 7, the council:

Discussed new hiring procedures with Police Chief Kenneth Hempfleng in which new officers would sign an agreement with the police department stating that if they left the department within two years, they would be responsible for reimbursing the department for uniform and equipment expenses.

Voiced approval with no vote required for town clerks Nikki Haigler and Cindy Schulze to attend upcoming training conferences.

Discussed the Intercept Program which is available through the Alabama League of Municipalities in which the town could intercept tax refunds for residents who had outstanding bills with the town.