The Milton City Council unanimously approved a balanced city budget and millage rate during a council meeting last week. The city will maintain the current millage rate of 3.2373 mills per $1,000 and balanced budget of expenditures and revenues consisting of $21,932,739. Both the budget and the millage rate were passed in the form of resolutions.
In addition to having no change in the city’s millage rate, City Manager Brian Watkins said there is also little changed from previous fiscal budgets. The adopted budget will begin on October 1, ending on September 30, of 2016.
Watkins said the city will benefit from a recently approved gas tax increase from the Santa RosaCounty commissioners. Effective January 1, the gas tax will increase from 6 cents to 12 cents. As part of inter local agreement with the county, several Santa Rosa municipalities will benefit from the increase.
“There will be some monies coming from that to us,” Watkins said. “Our discussions, so far, is that it be used for road improvements.”
Watkins added there was not much of change in regards to expenditures as well.
“For the most part, we don’t budget a lot of capital investments,” he said. “Usually we look at the end of the year, looks like this year for 2015 we are going to finish in the black.”
Additional funds left over from the city’s fiscal budgets are moved to the city’s reserve funds, Watkins said. With approval from the council, city officials could use a portion of reserve funding to address costly city issues of replacing a vital first response vehicle or repairing a damaged roadway, for example.
Earlier this year, the council voted to approve funding to repair both Alabama and Dixon Streets. Watkins said $250, 000 has already been set aside from the 2015 budget and a work order has already been submitted.
Although the annual budget may look the same compared to budgets in recent years, Watkins said a great deal of work continues to go into the fiscal process, which includes overseeing revenue projections, meeting with each head official of every department and examining fiscal spread sheets.
“We usually start in March and work through this,” Watkins said. “We went through everything line by line…it’s long process.”