BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (March 17) — Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn recently released a proposed budget for the City of Dresden for the 2021-22 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. The budget was made available to Dresden aldermen in advance, so they will have time to review it in detail prior to the next city board meeting on Monday, April 5.
Mayor Washburn states, the budget retains the same property tax rate of $1.4837 for the next fiscal year, which represents no increase in the property tax rate. The budget additionally retains the same water and sewer rates for the next fiscal year. Additionally, the proposed budget reduces garbage rates.
“I am proposing that we decrease the garbage-collection rate for residential and commercial customers using only the two-wheel carts by $1.65 per month and reduce the commercial dumpster rate by $5 per dumpster per pick-up monthly,” the mayor said. “One dumpster one time per week would result in a net billing decrease of $5 per month.”
Mayor Washburn explained, this sanitation rate decrease is feasible because Red River’s collection fee was less than the amount charged by the former contractor, Republic Services, with no annual increases for five years.
“When we switched to Red River, we retained the same customer-billing rate as we had for Republic, because of uncertainty about the exact monthly billing to the city,” the mayor said. “This fiscal year, our billing is expected to exceed the collection charges paid to Red River by $87,900.The rate reduction will narrow the spread between our cost and the amount collected from our customers, while still allowing for putting money back in reserve for a rainy day fund against future collection cost increases. The city will also continue to have sufficient funds to continue providing two free bulk pick-ups per year in the city.”
Capital expenditures requested for each department are as follows:
Mayor – Christmas decorations = $5,000
City Recorder – Tally Printer replacement (split cost with Water Department)
Police Department – Patrol car and equipment for car = $27,000
Fire Department – Replace 20 SCUBA bottles = $900; two gas heating units = $0
Public Works – Streets – Street paving = $221,966
State Street Aid – Sidewalk repair / replace = $15,000
Playgrounds – Paving = $20,000
Water Department – Truck = $30,000; Tally Printer replacement (split cost with City Recorder); Annual WK&T payment = $146,795; Total = $181,785
Sewer Department – Main Lagoon Aerator – $10,000
Drug Fund – Equipment for new police vehicle = $504,761
FY 2021-22 – Total General Fund Revenues = $2,264,366
FY 2021-22 – Total General Fund Expenditures = $2,264,365
The department heads met with Mayor Washburn, Finance Director Carla Edwards, and City Recorder Jennifer Branscum to review their budgets and make adjustments as needed to come in under budget. Aldermen Kenneth Moore and Sandra Klutts also attended the budget meeting.
Concerning employee raises, Mayor Washburn said, “The actual pay increases for employees will be determined by employee evaluations currently due from department heads on or before May 1.”