The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 22, 2012

Final action set Tuesday on Carthage city budget

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Final action is scheduled Tuesday on a Carthage city budget that sets general fund expenditures at $8.2 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The spending plan, developed by city staff and the council’s budget committee, was advanced without change two weeks ago by the Carthage City Council.

After spending cuts the past two years in response to the economic downturn, the budget this year estimates general fund spending will grow by 8.9 percent. Sales tax collections, the city’s largest single revenue source, are up 17.8 percent, primarily attributable to the effect of the Joplin tornado.

The plan proposes no increase in the city work force, but does includes a 2 percent step increase in pay for city workers.

Council members two weeks ago rejected a motion to increase spending for equipment maintenance in the fire department. Members also advanced budget-related measures regarding contracts with organizations that provide services to the city.

On final council approval, the ordinances will allocate $106,720 to the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, $120,000 to the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau, $20,000 to the Carthage Over-60 Center, and $30,000 to the Carthage Humane Society.

The July 1 start of the fiscal year also will trigger rate increases for customers of Carthage Water and Electric Plant that were approved earlier by the council.

The council in May approved an ordinance adopting an 11.3 percent rate increase for residential customers of the city-owned utility.

CW&EP officials say the utility is expecting a significant increase in the cost of coal and transporting the material. CW&EP buys most of its power from a plant in Sikeston. The plant is getting a major upgrade to comply with Environmental Protection Agency emission standards for sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrous oxide that will take effect in 2014.

The average household customer’s bill for electricity, water and wastewater service will increase to $149.41 from $134.30, an increase of $15.11 per month. The average commercial bill will increase from $714.42 to $795.88, an increase of $81.46 per month, or 11.4 percent. The average industrial bill will increase by 10.7 percent.

Annexation

Also at the session, set for 7:30 p.m. in City Council chambers, the panel will hold a public hearing on a request to annex into the city lots located at 1105 and 1107 Baker Blvd.

 

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