Council OK’s Budget

Council Pay Down, Mayor’s Pay Up

BLYTHEWOOD – Town Council unanimously approved a $1,226,000 budget for fiscal year 2014-15 with only minor changes due to scrivener’s errors. Building/construction permit revenue is expected to double from $35,000 in FY 2014 to $70,000 in FY 2015, and there are noticeable decreases in the expenditures for Town Hall personnel salaries and benefits from $546,000 in FY 2014 to $464,318 in FY 2015. Of that, staff’s collective salaries and benefits are down $70,000 to $402,398; Council’s salaries and benefits are down $22,956 for a collective total of $27,044 for the year (Councilman Tom Utroska does not take salary or benefits), and the Mayor’s salary and benefits are up $2,376 for a yearly total of $26,376.

Total office expenses for the Town Hall are down about $20,000, while total legal and professional costs are up by $6,000. Promotions and maintenance are both down slightly from last year’s budget.

Special initiatives will increase from $140,000 in FY 2014 to $212,500 in FY 2015. Of that amount, Council has set aside $59,000 for technology improvements at Town Hall, $10,000 for repairs, $30,000 for sidewalks, $18,000 for interest on the Doko restaurant loan and $95,000 for landscaping, signage and Christmas decorations. Another $20,000 is designated for Christmas decorations from the Hospitality Tax revenue.

Other expenditures from Hospitality Tax revenue include: $28,000 for the Visitors’ Center ($9,000 for the executive director of the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce and the remainder to Bravo Blythewood and the Visitor’s Center); $12,000 for events; $5,000 for wireless internet and website; $7,000 for the Christmas Parade; $15,000 for the Diamond Invitational baseball tournament; $5,000 for audit fees and $180,000 for transfers to the Blythewood Facilities Corporation for payments on the $5.5 million park bond. The cost for the Town’s audit is divided between the Hospitality Tax ($5,000) and the Accommodations Tax ($6,000). The total Hospitality Tax revenue for FY 2015 is budgeted at $272,800. Total Accommodations Tax revenue is budgeted at $128,000.

Council approved transfers to the Manor enterprise fund in the amount of $45,961 to cover the shortfall from last year.

A copy of the budget is available at Town Hall and will be on the Town’s website soon.