Calhoun Times

City ‘fared much better’ than expected

Youth Leadership students also pay visit to council meeting.

- By Blake Silvers BSilvers@CalhounTim­

Calhoun City Administra­tor Paul Worley submitted the fourth quarter

Fiscal Year 2021 financial statement to the council Monday night with favorable numbers compared to expectatio­ns through the pandemic.

“We fared much better than what we had feared,” Worley said.

FY 2021 represents the period of July 2020 through June 30 of 2021, a time when the city was able to weather the pandemic economy, according to Worley.

“Almost all department­s came in at or below budget on the expenditur­e side,” he said.

The city’s property tax revenue was 124% of what was expected during pandemic-minded planning through spring of 2020 at slightly over $3 million, while the Local Option Sales Tax brought in another $3.8 million.

“The consumer remained very strong throughout the fiscal year,” Worley said.

Licensing and permits came in at 173% of budgeted expectatio­ns at $675,000.

“If you go all the way back to 2012 when we were still in the financial and real estate crisis — the great recession — the entire year that budget year, we only brought in $78,000 total,” Worley said.

Also included in budget reporting was $898,000 in Federal CARES Act COVID relief funding.

Total general fund revenue for the city during FY 2021 was $17,733,917, which was 121% of what was budgeted for. Overall, only 95% of projected expenditur­es were spent, with $13.4 million going out, leaving a $4,531,569 net increase fund balance.

On the utilities side, Administra­tor Larry Vickery reported revenues of $21,688,000 with expenses of $12,981,000, leaving $8,706,000. The net operating income was $4,563,000 for water and sewer.

Vickery also reported the unusual occurrence of a net profit for the city’s sewer system in the amount of $86,000.

City electric also fared well financiall­y, bringing in $34,640,000. With operating expenses at $32,211,000, netting $2,223,000 after operating expenses.

The only public hearing of the night drew no speakers, passing unanimousl­y. With Mayor Jimmy Palmer absent and Mayor Pro Tem George Crowley at the helm, the council amended the city’s zoning ordinance “to repeal all conflictin­g ordinances, to fix an effective date, and for other purposes.”

Also passing unanimousl­y was a request from the Calhoun Police Department to purchase four in-car computer systems for police backup vehicles in the amount of $5,645.35, install blue lights on four wheelers in the amount of $500, repair a four wheeler in the amount of $382.66, and by six sets of stinger spike strip systems in the amount of $2,562 out of a state forfeiture account.

Several city licensure renewals were approved unanimousl­y as well, including taxi services, and various alcohol permits.

In attendance at this week’s council meeting were a large portion of this year’s local Youth Leadership class, made up of students from all three local public high schools.

The teens were able to see the council operate and interact by asking questions and speaking with city officials before and after the meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the Calhoun City Council is Monday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Depot, 109 S. King St.

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