The Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing during their meeting this evening at the Senior Center, with regard to the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 City Budget. City Administrator Doug Harris says the proposed budget, which represents the 16 operating funds of the City, is down 4.3-percent from the current fiscal year. That’s slightly less than the 4.9-percent reduction shown in the original proposed budget. Even though the overall budget is down 4.3-percent, the underlying operating budget for next year will be up 1.6-percent, or about $100,000. The proposed budget will require a tax increase of 1.8-percent in the City portion of the tax levy, or a seven-tenths (0.7)-percent increase in the total property tax levy, which means a 32-cent increase per $1,000 of taxable valuation.
Harris says the reason the overall budget is down 4.3-percent, is due to a reduction in the amount to be spent out of the Local Option Sales Tax Recreation Improvement Reserve to cover the cost of overruns on the new Park Maintenance Building. The reduction was possible because the City is able to use some of the contingency bond funds to cover part of the expense.
Harris said the City’s Operating Budget was adjusted upward following the completion of work on the new Wastewater Treatment Plant, and was necessary due to accounting changes in the Debt Service Fund, as well as a communications grant that was hosted by the Atlantic Fire Department. In a related note, the Council will act on setting April 2nd as the date for a Public Hearing on proposed amendments to the FY 2014 (current year) Budget, the “Lion’s share” of which, according to Harris, is due to the “Multi-year nature of the numerous bond funded capital improvement projects” the City has undertaken in the past few years.
In other business, the Atlantic City Council will act on approving a change order in its contract with Hawkins Construction, for improvements to the new treatment plant. The change order represents a $32,322 decrease in the original contract price to compensate the City for engineering fees related to the repair of defective work on the plant’s blower building. The meeting starts at 5:30-p.m. in the Atlantic Senior Center.