Town of Murfreesboro approves FY21 budget

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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MURFREESBORO – The 2020-21 fiscal year budget passed without much discussion at Murfreesboro’s Town Council meeting here Wednesday, June 24.

A public hearing was held first, which was streamed via Facebook Live to comply with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on large gatherings. No citizens chose to submit any comments on the proposed budget.

The council then voted unanimously to pass the budget after a motion from Council member Jay Revelle and a second by fellow Council member Craig Dennis. There was no discussion before the vote, though the council has held several budget workshop meetings in the past few weeks to discuss specifics of the proposal and to make changes as necessary.

The ad valorem tax rate for FY21 remained set at $0.66 per $100 of valuation, unchanged now for more than a decade.

In the General Fund, the town will operate on a total of $1,937,792 for the upcoming fiscal year. That’s a drop of almost $42,000 from the current year’s operating General Fund budget.

Departments receiving the largest appropriations include Police ($701,382), Sanitation ($300,000), Administration ($253,303), Governing Body ($147,443), and Fire ($141,972). These departments generally remain the top five in funding each year.

Police and Governing Body both saw funding decreases this year, with a drop of $55,000 and $40,000 respectively. Sanitation and Administration both received about $7,000 more in funding, while the Fire Department was allocated almost $4,500 more than FY20.

In the Water and Sewer Fund (Enterprise Fund), revenues are expected to total $1,322,276. That amount equals the Enterprise Fund’s budget for the FY20 year with no change. The amount of appropriation to each department, however, did fluctuate a bit compared to the previous year.

The allocations will include $553,294 for Water, $492,951 for Wastewater Treatment, and $276,030 for Sewer.

Those numbers reflect increases in Water ($6,500) and Wastewater ($25,000) and a decrease in Sewer by $32,000.

The unpredictable impact of the ongoing pandemic was cited as much of the reason for budget cuts this year. Revelle noted they would probably have a better picture of the full impact in a few months and could make budget amendments accordingly.

During comments at the end of the meeting, several council members expressed their gratitude to Town Administrator Carolyn Brown for working hard to come up with a balanced budget despite uncertainly created by the pandemic.

“I’m glad we’ve got a balanced budget, and I want to thank her [Brown] again,” Revelle said.

In previous budget work sessions, the council discussed with Brown several topics which would affect the upcoming fiscal year’s numbers such as a potential increase in water rates, computer software updates, contract maintenance, and salary increases for employees.

The FY21 budget takes effect on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021.