RINCON — The bottom line is that the Rincon City Council has approved a streamlined, leaner budget that funds 3 percent merit pay raises for city employees.
City Manager John Klimm's proposed budget of $9,964,471 for fiscal year 2019 was OK'd unanimously during Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting.
Klimm was given the task of simplifying the budget and making it more transparent shortly after accepting his position in July. The new budget marks a 40 percent reduction from the one the council approved in 2018.
"The proposed budget reflects a balanced and responsible spending plan for our community that continues to invest in our critical quality of life allowing Rincon to be such an attractive place to live, visit, do business and raise a family," Klimm said in a Dec. 1 letter that was submitted to the council with his proposal. "I believe this budget will continue to lead this great city forward and recommend its adoption for the coming fiscal year."
The budget, based on a conservative three-year trend, adds more than $2.5 million to the city's reserve fund. The reserve fund was depleted by water and sewer improvements in recent years.
There hasn't been a property tax in Rincon in a couple of decades and that will continue in 2019.
"I am proud of our collective efforts to limit impacts on Rincon taxpayers while also providing much-needed services to residents," Klimm said in his letter. "This budget proposal moves us forward without proposing a property tax increase on our citizens and businesses. This is possible due to your collective attention to city finances, as well as our ongoing efforts at identifying efficiencies in the delivery of services."
Klimm put his proposal together with input from James Jefferson, the city's finance director, and city department heads. His goal is for Rincon's budget to meet the guidelines of the National Government Finance Officers Association.