Several city departments over budget for last year
by David Lazenby
Oct 22, 2011 | 1086 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During a Jasper City Council work session held Friday to discuss the city's current financial position, officials discussed the reason several city departments' expenditures exceeded the previous fiscal year's budget, which ended Sept. 30.

Some of the department heads who were present at the work session pointed to unforeseen expenses that occurred as a result of the April 27 storms that caused extensive damage throughout the city.

Joe Matthews, who oversees the city's department of public works, said clearing trees and other debris from city streets after the storms increased expenses such as fuel and employee overtime, costs that were not reimburse by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Other unexpected expenses included an emergency project in July to replace underground terra-cotta pipes that had collapsed and an increased need for grass maintenance caused by this summer's high level of precipitation.

"This year has been an extraordinary year," he said.

Mayor Sonny Posey agreed. "We have had a lot on our plate."

Jasper City Clerk Kathy Chambless revealed to the city officials which departments had expenses that went over their budgets for 2010-2011.

The departments most out of line with their budgets were the city's street department, which was nearly $243,000 over budget, and Jasper's sanitation department, which was more than $166,000 over budget.

Other city departments that were over budget for the previous fiscal year, and the amount they were over, include the following:

* City Hall -- $8,075

* Building inspectors -- $1,430

* Planning -- $9,587

* Police Department -- $82,929

* Jail -- $35,620

* Fire Department -- $44,424

* Public Works -- $526

* City schools -- $94,149

* Library -- $12,633

* Parks -- $48,312

* Natatorium -- $58,563

"If you take all those departments ... that are over budget and you add them up, that's $842,000," Chambless said.

City officials recommended that the Council and the mayor consider examining department budgets on a quarterly basis -- and more frequently when needed.

"We need to look at this thoroughly," said Councilor Johnny Rollins.

The Council is expected to hold another work session to discuss the city's budget at noon on Friday.