City continues pay-as-you-go plan in budget
By RANDY GONZALES
The city of Hays' 2014 budget, which was adopted at Thursday's regular meeting of the city commission, is divided into four areas.
Assistant City Manager Paul Briseno gave the presentation of the $36 million budget to the commissioners. The budget is made up of four funds: general, enterprise, levy and miscellaneous.
Sales tax revenue of $7.2 million is included in the general fund, and fees bring in $6 million for the enterprise fund. Property taxes of $5 million are in the levy fund.
"We have some fixed levies and some fluctuating levies," City Manager Toby Dougherty said Friday.
Public safety and the airport are fixed levies, Dougherty said, while fluctuating levies include the library and employee benefits.
The general fund's piece of the budget pie is $12.2 million.
"Our general fund is unique within the state of Kansas because we rely primarily on sales tax. No property tax is taken as far as general fund," Briseno said.
Primary general fund projects and equipment for 2014 include HVAC efficiency controls at city hall and snow-removal equipment. Also included is a proposed $1.5 million street improvement project.
The enterprise fund encompasses $10.3 million. Primary water and wastewater projects include sewer line cleaning, manhole cover repair, pump and boiler replacement, and water tower inspection.
"Enterprise funds are run like a business. We have to generate revenue to offset our expenditures," Briseno said. "Those funds include water, wastewater, solid waste. We have a new division this year, water conservation."
There is $6.9 million in levy funds.
"The levy funds are primarily funded with property taxes," Briseno said.
The mill levy will remain at 25 for the fifth straight year. Total valuation is expected to increase by 4 percent.
"The continuation of the commission's initiative of the 25 mill levy, paying as we go rather than incurring debts, "Briseno said, "(we) don't have to increase our property taxes."
The miscellaneous fund has $2.6 million. The Hays Welcome Center will be able to be paid off early, saving $56,000 in interest. Convention and Visitors Bureau projects include way-finding signs, banners and an Interstate 70 welcome sign.