Oneonta examines finances, anticipating 2018 budget

Oneonta city councilors met with administrators and department representatives in a public hearing last Thursday to examine potential revenues and expenses for the 2018 fiscal year budget. City manager-economic developer Ed Lowe reviewed the figures, entertaining questions from councilors and others.

Lowe noted the initially presented budget increased the 2017 figure of $7.822 million to $8.062 million. Asked of present to-date revenues, he offered a $9.544 million figure with some six weeks remaining in the year. He later added a caveat that the present year’s figure includes some $1.2 million in financing loans shown as revenue.

Sales taxes, budgeted currently at $4.4 million and proposed at $4.5 million, provide the largest sources. Present-to-date revenues for those taxes this year exceed $4.6 million with a month-and-a-half still remaining.

Despite the apparent healthy status, Lowe advised the council that the initial figures do not appropriate any money for capital outlay nor salary increases. He indicated city departments have submitted requests of some $750,000 for capital outlay and that any salary increase would require an additional $36,000 for each 1-percent raise. He reported employees received only a 1- percent salary increase in 2017.

Mayor Ross Norris and all councilors (Hal Blackwood, Nathaniel Butler, Richard Phillips, Danny Robinson, and Tonya Rogers) attended the Aug. 17 meeting.