In Hamburg’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, the city is planning to receive approximately $19,000 less in general fund revenue than it budgeted for in 2020. The proposal also tells a story of an administration that has kept its expenses in check in a year when revenue has been down.

The fiscal year 2021 budget proposal, which Mayor Dane Weindorf presented to city council members early last week, is not in its final form. Instead, the council members are set to review it and return with their recommendations next month. In its current form, the budget calls for $1,132,875 in general receipts and $1,100,325 in general expenses.

The document Weindorf gave the council shows that through Oct. 31, Hamburg had received $864,061.50 in general receipts, averaging $86,406.15 per month. The 2020 budget as adopted in December 2019 had predicted revenues of $93,316.67 per month, but that was before anyone knew the nation would face an economic shutdown and a sluggish restart.

Still, through Oct. 31 the city general fund was in the black for the year— though few could deny that it’s tight.

As of that date the city had received $864,061.50 in general revenue; general expenses came to $864,032.29. This doesn’t mean the city only had $55; instead, it shows that the general fund has been almost exactly balanced despite lower than expected revenue.

Other areas were not so perfectly balanced as of Oct. 31. 

The capital improvement fund — which draws its monies from auction income, city sales tax, grants and reimbursements, among other sources — saw $379,757.45 in receipts and $410,247.58 in expenses. 

Expenses included $106,131.53 for “equipment over $2,500” and $5,206.15 for “equipment under $2,500.” The largest expense was street repairs to the tune of $170,983.55, followed by Norman Park improvements at $44,715.08 and sewer expenditures at $33,277.22.

The city council approved the sewer repairs, which were unexpected, earlier this fall. Another $140,000 in sewer repairs are budgeted for next fiscal year, which will play a significant role in increasing the capital improvement fund’s budget from $456,400 to $549,900.

The budget projects a significant increase in water revenue in the coming year, up to $820,150 from 2020’s budgeted $808,600. The council increased water rates earlier this year.

In other areas, the city expects to see decreases for taxpayers in 2021. While in 2020 the fire department was budgeted to have $64,430 in expenses, in the coming year the cost is projected to go down to $54,495.

The police department is also projected to cost less, down from $517,515 to $489,400. The drop in projected expenses appears to be attributable to general cost reductions, with the biggest being a decrease of $8,000 in the budget line item for salaries.

Sanitation, meanwhile, is projected to go up in cost from $144,467 to $154,050. The cost increase appears linked to an increase in salaries.

The council is set to discuss the budget in December.

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