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Council passes $6.2 million city budget

Posted 7/9/24

Fayette’s Board of Aldermen passed the city’s fiscal year 2024-2025 budget right on deadline during a special meeting held on Monday, July 1. The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

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Council passes $6.2 million city budget


Fayette’s Board of Aldermen passed the city’s fiscal year 2024-2025 budget right on deadline during a special meeting held on Monday, July 1. The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

The $6,625,764 budget adds little money for Fayette’s crumbling roads, enough to patch the potholes, and none for a long-awaited sewer project on Green Acres Drive. However, Mayor Greg Stidham did say he expected engineering expenses with actual sewer construction likely to begin the following year.

Expenses exceeded revenues for the previous budget, which was planned. However, the city was not as far in the red as expected, with expenses outpacing revenue by about $90,000 instead of a projected $400,000. While the state requires municipalities to pass a balanced budget, cities are allowed to count existing monies toward their upcoming budgets. So, while the city did not bring in enough revenue to pay its expenses, existing cash balances covered the deficit.

Revenues for FY 2024-25 are expected to total $6,625,764, with expenditures budgeted at $6,202.916.

The newest budget includes annual pledges toward the city’s memberships to the Moberly Area Economic Development Council, the Howard County Economic Development Council, and Downtown Fayette, formerly Fayette Main Street.

This year’s budget includes a five percent raise for city employees (not counting seasonal employees or firefighters), as well as salary and expenses for a part-time building inspector. Mayor Stidham has been vocal about the need for a city building inspector. The council briefly discussed hiring former building inspector Angie Malone during its July 1 meeting on a part-time, temporary basis. Thirty thousand dollars was earmarked for a building inspector’s salary. Combined with other related expenses, the total budgeted for the building inspector’s position is $48,155.

Also in the budget is a $75,000 salary for a city administrator, although the city currently has none, nor is it advertising the position.

One persistent complaint from Fayette citizens over the past several years has been the increasingly pitiful condition of the roads. The council approved a budget increase for the street department. Those funds will mainly be used to fill potholes. However, some will be used to develop a five-year plan for street improvements.

Mayor Stidham has charged council members to detail potholes within their wards.

Money in the sinking funds will assist in the overlay of Church Street. Downtown streets around the square are also expected to receive an asphalt overlay, which will be partially paid for by the Historic Downtown Community Improvement District (CID). The work will coincide with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s plan to overlay MO 240, which includes Church Street through town. The city plans to pay for additional work to the western shoulder of Church Street, which is in poor condition. Parking is allowed on that side of the road during church services.

Only $3,000 was earmarked for cement in the street department budget, but $110,000 was listed for asphalt and $2,500 for gravel.

According to the city’s budget report, the electrical department received a slight increase in revenue, with expenditures projected to increase “as the city continues to improve the electrical grid.”

The city also expects water fund revenues to increase slightly. According to the mayor, no increases to either water or electricity are planned for the upcoming fiscal year.

The city continues debt payments on three bonds, with nearly $5 million in principal payments remaining throughout the life of the bonds. Fayette paid more than $136,000 last year toward the USDA Series 2010 Build America Bonds, nearly $140,000 toward its Series 2021 Revenue Bonds, and slightly more than $120,000 toward Series 2022 USDA bonds.

Included in the latest budget was $693,478 for the Fayette Police Department. On June 25, City Marshal David Ford asked the council for a slight increase to the starting hourly pay, from $19 to $20, and for the city to pay full health insurance. The city currently pays $450 per month per officer for insurance benefits, about 70% of the total cost. Chief Ford said the better pay would help recruit and retain officers. The department is currently short two officers. Another officer is on an extended medical leave.

Council members briefly mentioned the request at their July 1 budget approval meeting but slated the discussion to take place during the board’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 9, after the Advertiser had gone to press.

A copy of the entire fiscal year 2024-2025 budget may be found here.

The Fayette Board of Aldermen meets regularly at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month in City Hall. Meetings are open, agendas are published in advance, and the public is invited.


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