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Rincon looks at adopting bigger budget for 2016
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The city of Rincon is closer to adopting a budget that will put its spending and revenues at nearly $14.96 million for the coming fiscal year.

The total budget city council approved for the 2015 fiscal year was $10.9 million, down from $11.85 million for FY14. The 2016 fiscal year begins Jan. 1.

“We do have quite a bit of capital projects planned,” said Rincon City Manager Wesley Corbitt.

Under the proposed 2016 budget, the city will spend nearly $4.7 million in its general fund operations. The city’s general fund budget for the 2015 fiscal year was pegged at $4.185 million.

“We’ve had a good increase in our revenues,” Corbitt said. “Since about 2010, our revenues have gone up about 50 percent. Our revenues come from people who use the services. So we’ve been able to maintain good growth in our revenues. That’s what helps us to be able to not charge property taxes.”

Sales taxes are expected to provide about $3.1 million, with fines accounting for about $547,000. The city also will use about $534,000 from its reserves.

“We still believe the reserves will be very strong,” said Corbitt, adding the city still will have about $2 million in its reserves. “We try to be a little bit on the conservative side.”

The city plans to spend $1.5 million for its police department and nearly $1.35 million in public works. Spending on city council will top $646,000, and nearly $186,000 will be spent on general government. Building and zoning will receive more than $283,000 in funding.

The city will have more than $1.39 million in special purpose local option sales tax receipts, with about $343,000 being carried forward from SPLOST reserves.

Of its SPLOST revenues, the city plans to direct more than $800,000 to water and sewer projects.

“We have more capital projects budgeted right now than we have SPLOST revenues coming in,” Corbitt said.

The fire budget will be approximately $862,000, with about $56,000 coming from reserves. City fire fees are expected to generate $310,000, with another $550,000 coming from the county. The fire fee total is expected to be more than double previous totals.

“Fire is doing really well,” Corbitt said. “With the contracts with the county and the new fees, it has increased our fire fees overall. For the first time, it puts our fire at pretty close to break even. We’re building up our reserves.”

The city also expects to receive a straight class 3 in ISO ratings, and Corbitt added the city will have to supply a ladder truck in the future.

Spending for Lost Plantation Golf Course is pegged at more than $888,000, with the city’s general fund supplying nearly $383,000. Council members also have discussed renovating the clubhouse building, and their decision may affect how much is spent in that area.

“We have had a lot of discussion about which way to go,” Corbitt said. “We haven’t made any decisions, so it is subject to change before the second reading.”

The utility fund budget — water, sewer and sanitation — is $7.1 million. The city is increasing its sewer reserves by $146,000 and its water reserves by $609,000, according to Corbitt.

“But we’re fixing to do two projects that are going to cost us about $2 million,” Corbitt said. “There are lines we need to put down in certain areas.”