Money flows as revenues up in Shepherdsville

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – Being able to balance your budget without taking into consideration carryover funds, Shepherdsville officials were all smiles Monday night.

With controller Bob Ryan able to balance the projected expenses and projected revenue for the 2013-14 budget, part of the carryover funds for the current year will be used immediately.

During a budget workshop session, Shepherdsville city officials had the pleasant problem of figuring out to spend over $1.5 million.

Mayor Scott Ellis outlined a plan to make some needed purchases, several of which were cut from the budget wish list.

For the police department, Ellis is looked to purchase and pay for seven cruisers and a back-up for the server.

Although the police department hoped for 10, Ellis said seven would be purchased.

For the fire department, Ellis said the city would pay off $175,000 note for a tire truck, purchase radios at a cost of $27,000 and 15 sets of gear for the firefighters for $25,000.

And in public works, a pickup truck would be purchased, as well as two lawn mowers and a John Deere tractor.

With the purchases, the expected carryover would range from 4591,404 to $637,113, according to the mayor.

Ryan said the new budget would be amended to account for the exact carryover after the fiscal year ends on June 30.

In going through the budget, Ryan said that the revenue projected for the occupational tax would remain constant at $4.1 million in the next fiscal year.

However, Ellis said he knew those figures would be higher.

Through March, the city had generated $3.2 million in occupational revenue, plus another $700,000 in April.

The rate would also remain at 1.5 percent.

The city will also experience the first full year of taking 4 percent of the county’s insurance premium tax.

“I think the projected revenue is realistic,” said councilman Jose Cubero.

In terms of expenditures, the fire department is looking to add a full-time position.

There will also be money set aside to begin the process of building a new firehouse on Highway 61 near the old stockyards.

Ellis said the city is interested in selling the old city hall/fire station on Frank E. Simon, as well as the public works building and an office leased for the drug court program.

Fire chief Layne Troutman said a new firehouse would be important in maintaining, or eventually improving, the ISO ratings, which are critical to insurance premiums.

If a firehouse is built, Troutman said a couple of paid firefighters would be joined by live-in firefighters.

No new vehicles are planned in the budget for the fire department.

For the police department, no additional personnel would be added.

The current staff of 23.5 officers includes 12 patrol officers.

Some increase in funding was placed in the budget for training, which has fallen behind in past years.

Chief Doug Puckett said he has not lost an officer since salary increases were approved in January. In fact, several officers returned and he has plenty of inquiries on any future job openings.

A stream of new income has been the tow-in storage lot.

In the sewer department, funds were appropriated for a new pickup truck, updating the camera truck, a utility vehicle, plus a server, two computers and two tablets.

The sewer department is projected to have a carryover of $800,000, which would be placed into an emergency account.

The public works department would add a full-time person.

Cubero said he liked that the city was able to generate more revenue and also remain under budget on expenses, which could allow officials to revisit the budget in January to see if additional improvements might be possible.

The Shepherdsville City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23, at the government center. The public is invited to attend.