Hogansville looks at proposed budget

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2019

During Monday night’s city council meeting, Hogansville City Manager David Milliron presented the city council with an early look at the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which will begin July 1. The proposed 2019-20 FY budget assumes revenues and expenses of $11,865,364, and assumes the city will pull considerable money from the city’s enterprise funds to cover a $761,505 deficit in the general fund if approved as-is. 

The city’s enterprise funds consist of the city’s electric, natural gas, water, sewer, sanitation and cemetery funds and are supposed to operate much like additional business ventures for the city. 

“When you put together a budget, you have what is called the general fund and enterprise funds,” Milliron said. 

“If you’re doing a household budget, the general fund would be your household budget. If you moonlight and do some side-jobs, those would be your enterprise funds.” 

In an ideal budgeting cycle, a city would be net-positive in the general fund budget, thus would not need to reallocate dollars from enterprise funds. Hogansville however has routinely seen general fund expenses outpace revenues in the last 10 years, dating back to 2009, and has needed to rely on positive cash outlays from its enterprise funds to supplement the general fund losses. 

The city is working to reduce expenses and expects to see a reduction in expenditures by approximately 4 percent in 2020, per Milliron.

“We have aggressively been working to mainstream government, looking for ways to make this more efficient and effective,” Milliron said. 

In the proposed budget review, Milliron reinforced the city’s deficit in the proposed general fund budget. 

“What is important here is that you are not bringing in enough revenue to meet your general fund obligations,” Milliron said. 

Between the city’s six enterprise funds, the proposed budget assumes a total positive cash outlay of $501,506 which will help offset the $761,505 general fund deficit. However, within that $501,506 number are assumed losses in the water and sanitation funds of $100,000 and $123,087 respectively, which can happen for a plethora of reasons, including problems resulting from outdated infrastructure. The projected $501,506 the city assumes it will need from its general funds this fiscal year is a decrease from the projected $590,295 needed in the current fiscal year, representing a 15 percent decrease. 

The city will have work sessions and public hearings on the proposed budget throughout the month of June before its approval.