Huntingdon Town Council members passed the first of two required readings on the 2020-2021 budget of $5,053,250 that will have a property tax rate of $1.2487 per $100 of assessed property. The tax rate is not a raise in property tax from last year.
The total expenses in the General Fund were $4,803,250 with an additional $250,000 transferred out for the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Special Project. The estimated expenses over revenues were $106,850. An SRTS grant match of $109,800 paid from the prior reserve, making revenues over expenses in the amount of $2,950.
The town’s biggest expense in the budget is for the police department for $1,269,750, followed by the fire department at $488,100. Some of the other high expenses include Finance & Administration, $469,700; Street Division Public Works Division, $462,250; Parks and Cemeteries, $339,850; Debt Service Expense, $299,000’ and General Government, $251,150.
The largest General Fund revenue in the budget is local property taxes which amounts to $2,925,350.
The second reading and a public hearing will be held at the Aug. 25 meeting.
In discussing the budget, the mayor said as the mayor and town council’s goal through Fiscal Year 2021 to continue building infrastructure and laying the ground work to secure the needs of future generations.
“However, due to the current circumstances affecting our community and country, it is necessary to proceed conservatively into this budget year,” said Kelley. “By working together over the past 27 years, we have accomplished many upgrades for our town, including street and sidewalk improvements, additional park facilities and renovation of existing parks, water & sewer extensions and upgrades, improvements to the downtown and business districts, lowering the ISO rating reducing the cost of property insurance within the city limits and continuing to provide excellent police and fire protection for our hometown.”
The mayor noted that county-wide reappraisal took place in 2020 and based on the re-appraisal of properties located in the Town of Huntingdon, the prior year tax rate of $1.34 was recertified at $1.2487 per one-hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The FY21 budget has been prepared based on acceptance of the state’s calculation of the certified tax rate.
On-going projects which will continue in FY-21 include:
• $100,000 West TN River Basin Authority Grant for four culverts on Mebanewood Drive to assist with flooding issues; work has already begun
• Safe Routes to Schools grant for the construction of sidewalks along Clark Street from the Middle School to Paris Street.
• The Town is also part of the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Tennessee Downtowns Program. The remaining grant funds are being used for brand development for Huntingdon.
• Water System Improvements project funding by State Revolving Fund loan program for an Automated Meter Reading system, waterline replacement on East Main Street, and water service extension on Highway 77.
In efforts to provide excellent employee benefits, this budget allocates $8,500 per employee for the continuation of providing an employee’s health insurance coverage, funding the employee’s health savings account, and life insurance coverage for the employee in the amount of $50,000.
This budget continues the town’s efforts for economic growth and development by support of the Huntingdon Industrial Development Board and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.