Robertsdale Council passes 2021-22 budget


ROBERTSDALE — The City of Robertsdale passed its 2021-22 budget with projected revenues of approximately $23 million at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7.

As it did in 2020, the city will use a cash surplus from 2020-21 projects carried forward to 2021 to turn a $370,000 budget deficit to a more than $200,000 projected surplus for 2021-22.

The 2021-22 projected budget for 2021-22, which begins on Oct. 1, included projected revenues of $22,778,324 with expenditures of $21,284,185 and total debt expenses of $1,864,651, a budget deficit of $370,511.

But in his presentation to the council, Robertsdale chief financial officer Joe Driver showed a cash surplus of $600,162, leaving the city with a projected cash surplus of $229,651 for 2021-22.

Included among the projects are several continuation projects from 2020-21, including just over $800,000 for the completion of the city’s Utility Complex and the continuation of the installation of AMI meters for the city’s water and sewer departments.

The city will also carry over a $1.5 million cash project to construct an amphitheater at the site of the city’s utility complex, projected $400,000 in street resurfacing projects and a $550,000 water expansion project.

In total, the budget includes $5,170,441 for capital purchases and special projects in 2021-22 including:

  • The purchase of two patrol cars for the police department, a $110,000 cash project.
  • Building repair and painting for the police department projected at $60,000.
  • The purchase of a pumper truck for the fire department which will be funded by a $21,375 city-administered grant and $22,500 funded by a state ad valorem tax for the fire department.
  • Projects to replace the roof on a building at the city’s daycare, a $20,000 project, and a project to add a kitchen at the daycare using a $10,000 grant and $12,000 in city funds.
  • The purchase of a truck and two mowers for the street department, cash projects totaling $61,500.
  • The purchase of a digger truck for the electrical department which will include a $42,000 down payment and financing of $200,000.
  • The purchase of a trash loader for the sanitation department at a cost of $170,000 which will be part cash, part financed.

Once again, the largest surplus is in the city’s electrical department with revenues of $9,662,000 and expenses of $6,427,866, along with debt payments of $505,112 for a projected surplus of $2,729,522, which balances a deficit in the general government fund of $1,609,933 with projected revenues of $7,830,822 and expenses of $8,936,495, along with debt payments of $585,260.

There are also slight budget deficits in the city’s gas, water, sewer and sanitation departments.

Projected revenues in the water department are $3,112,503, with expenses of $3,256,480 and debt payments of $321,893 for a projected deficit of $465,870.

The sewer department projects revenues of $1,517,500 with expenses of $1,523,474 and debt payments of $406,143 for a projected deficit of $412,117. Sanitation revenues are projected at $505,000 with expenses of $857,508 and debt payments of $46,243 for a deficit of $398,751. Gas revenues are projected at $150,000 with expenses of $282,362 for a deficit of $132,362.

The council also approved in the budget a 2 percent increase in water rates and a 3 percent increase in gas rates, along with $200 across the board increases in water and sewer connection fees.

“It sounds like a lot but when you add it up it’s an average of less than a dollar per month per customer,” said Mayor Charles Murphy, “so it’s really not that big of an increase.”

In other business Sept. 7, the council:

  • Approved a $700 sponsorship for the 2021 Little Miss Honeybee Pageant, which will be held in October. This year’s festival is Nov. 6 and will include a continuation of the city’s Centennial Celebration.
  • Approved a diamond sponsorship for the Central Baldwin Middle School boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and volleyball teams at a cost of $1,500.
  • Approved a request from the city’s public works department to surplus concrete at the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Approved a request to surplus a generator at the water tank on Fairground Road.
  • Approved a bid of $63,000 for the fuel canopy foundation at the new public works complex.
  • Approved the surplus of water meters and agreed to sell the meters to the Town of Silverhill.