WHAT?  NO MORE FREE YARD WASTE PICK-UP?

 

            The City Council, at its regular scheduled July 6 meeting, voted to discontinue paying for yard waste effective September 1, 2010.  This is a permanent change.  If you wish to have this service, you may contract with Meridian on a month-to-month basis for $8.15 a month.  Meridian Wasteís number is 314-291-3131.

 

            Why is the City asking you to pay for this service?  This is a service the City has paid for as long as we can remember.  So what happened?  Last year we stopped paying for this service from November 1, 2009 through March of 2010 to save money.  The Cityís revenues continue to deteriorate and we continue to reduce expenses, but itís not enough on either side (revenues or expenses) to balance our budget.  Our biggest source of revenue is the general sales tax which has not increased in seven years; this last year (2009-2010, our fiscal year is July 1-June 30) it decreased by $27,155.  Our concern is will the economy rebound to overcome this amount of revenue loss in one year?  All indications are it will not.

 

            Without additional revenues, expenses must be cut.  Elimination of yard waste pick-up and renegotiations of our contract from September 1 will save us $42,406.

 

            In my Chronicle articles in the May and August 2009, and February 2010 issues, I discussed the Cityís continuing deficits, trying to give a heads-up that action would be needed soon by either an increase in revenues or a decrease in expenses.  To address the deficits, a review shows that they are a result of: (1) general sales revenues (our largest source) being flat or lower for the last seven years, (2) the increase in our largest expenses (police and sanitation), and, (3) lower interest rates.  Thus our approach was to work on our largest expenditures first.  These are trash and police protection.  St. Louis County Police increased its contract with us for this budget year (2010-2011) by only $784.63.  The Council chose the yard waste elimination.  This decision was not a casual one - the Council has been discussing the budget situation for months.  Here is our 2010-2011 Budget.  Look it over.  Ideas are welcome.

 

 

                Budget

 

 

               2010/2011

 

REVENUE

 

 

 Sales Tax Revenue

                      337,000.00

39.3%

 Personal Property Tax

                       17,000.00

2.0%

 Real Estate Tax

                      121,000.00

14.1%

 Permits & Inspections

                       20,000.00

2.3%

 Utilities/Franchise Fees

                       78,000.00

9.1%

 Cigarette Tax

                         7,000.00

0.8%

 Interest Income

                         2,500.00

0.3%

 Gasoline Tax

                       78,000.00

9.1%

 Traffic Fines 

                      180,000.00

21.0%

 Fee Increase

                       11,500.00

1.3%

 Miscellaneous

                            600.00

0.1%

 Board of Adjustment

                         4,000.00

0.5%

 TOTAL REVENUE

                      856,600.00

 

 

 

 

 

                Budget

 

 

               2010/2011

 

 EXPENSES

 

 

Audit

                         8,000.00

0.9%

Dues

                         1,950.00

0.2%

Office Expense

                         2,500.00

0.3%

Postage

                         3,000.00

0.3%

Computer Expense

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Telephone

                         2,800.00

0.3%

Professional Fees

                       15,000.00

1.7%

Engineering Fees

                       25,000.00

2.8%

Election Expenses

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Legal Notices

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Salaries

                       84,427.00

9.6%

Salaries/Mayor & Aldermen

                       12,600.00

1.4%

Training

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Police Protection

                      375,789.00

42.7%

Rent

                         7,140.00

0.8%

Health/Dental

                       15,000.00

1.7%

Liability Insurance

                         7,000.00

0.8%

Sanitation

                      254,724.26

28.9%

Signs and Installation

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Miscellaneous

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Mosquito Spraying

                         1,000.00

0.1%

Taxes - Payroll

                         7,500.00

0.9%

Court Expenses

                       49,000.00

5.6%

Board Meeting Expense

                         1,200.00

0.1%

Codification

 

0.0%

Board of Adjustment

                            750.00

0.1%

Bank Fees

                                   -  

0.0%

 TOTAL EXPENDITURES

                      880,380.26

 

 

 

 

 DIFFERENCE

                      (23,780.26)

 

 

            In budget year 2004-2005 our expense budget topped out at $972,636.  We have continued each year to reduce this amount.  We are continuing to look for ways to do more with less money.  However, I hope you can better understand the Councilís decision and why it was necessary to do it now.

 

            As you can see, this yearís deficit is still $23,780.  It is obvious we cannot continue far into the future, as our current surplus is only $235,167.  I would like to hear from you, if you have questions, ideas, etc. call me at 636-394-8916. 

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