Maryville OKs budget with raises, no tax hike
By Iva Butler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maryville City Council has approved a general fund budget that leaves the property tax rate unchanged while giving employees their first step pay raises in three years.
The fiscal 2012-13 budget, which was approved on first reading Tuesday night, totals $32,583,243 for the general fund and maintains the $2.17 property tax rate.
The tax rate has not increased since 2009-10, according to Maryville Director of Budget and Management Kristine Tallent. One cent on the property tax rate generates $79,262.
The breakdown of appropriations is:
• Schools — $9,307,500, or 29 percent of the overall budget. The allocation, which is unchanged from 2012, includes $2.3 million from the district’s fund balance for heating, ventilation and air conditioning work at Maryville High School.
• Public safety — $8,405,907, or 26 percent of the overall budget;
• Engineering and public works — $5,351,730, or 16 percent of the overall budget;
• Interfund transfers — $4,978,077, or 15 percent of the overall budget. The allocation includes transfers to debt service, grant and equipment replacement funds. The city hasn’t allocated funds for equipment replacement in three fiscal years.
• General government — $3,146,403, or 10 percent of the overall budget;
• Library and parks — $1,393,626, or 4 percent of the overall budget.
To balance the budget, officials are using $127,077 from fund balance. Final reading on the budget will be at a called meeting at 5 p.m. June 21 in Maryville Municipal Center.
Down 37 positions
Since the economy went sour in 2008, the city has lost 37 positions, and is now down to 300 employees. Officials have authorized four positions — three in general service and one in the water department — that are not being filled yet.
Due to the reduction in employees, council approved an amended position classification-compensation plan to consolidate responsibilities rather than fill vacant positions.
This includes a traffic operations manager to operate the joint traffic systems in both Maryville and Alcoa; senior customer service specialist; public services receptionist/office assistant; codes compliance officer and community relations manager.SClBEmployees will be getting a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise and 2.5 percent in step raises for eligible employees, a reduction from 5 percent steps. These are the first step raises since 2009.
Maryville City Schools’ budget includes eight new certified teachers and seven part-time teaching assistants for the new Coulter Grove Intermediate School.
Tallent said that over the past nine months, sales tax revenues have increased 10.5 percent. The budget anticipates a 2013 increase of 12 percent.
New tourism board
The council also approved appointments to the new Smoky Mountain Tourism Authority, appointments that Alcoa and Blount County must also approve.
The officers approved are Chairman Bryan Cable, general manager of the Hilton Knoxville Airport in Alcoa; Vice Chairman Jewell Overton, director of sales at the Courtyard by Marriott in Alcoa; and Secretary/Treasurer Tim Seay, owner of Hideaway Cottage and Log Cabins in Townsend. All three of their terms would expire in January 2013.
The board of directors would also include Mark Chipperfield, of Townsend Great Smokies KOA, Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson, Maryville City Manager Greg McClain, and chamber representative Chad Rochelle, of Dogwood Cabins in Townsend. The staff person would be Chamber Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Daniels of Maryville.
Maryville still has two appointments to make and Blount County has one.
In further action council:
• Authorized an intergovernmental agreement to establish centralized traffic operations between the cities of Alcoa and Maryville.
• Approved on first reading an ordinance amending the current school budget for 2012 by adding $149,603 to reflect changes in various funds.
• Granted a taxi cab franchise to Krystal Estes for Connections Transportation, 2418 Dublin Drive, Maryville, and renewed a franchise for Charles Henry Tyler for Blount Taxi, 2836 New Blockhouse Road, Maryville.
• Declared as surplus and authorized the disposal of a 1995 Ford tractor, a hydraulic mounted sweeper and a map file storage rack.
• Reappointed Susan Hannum to the Blount County Library Board for a term to expire in July 2015.