Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mayor Burchett unveils 'lean' budget

Mayor Tim Burchett
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett today publicly released his proposed budget, a $730 million "no frills" spending plan that doesn't increases taxes, dip into reserves, lay off employees or cut services.

It's not an "exciting" budget, the mayor stressed, and it doesn't fully fund a number of "unlimited requests."

For example, it dedicates $$427.8 million – a $7.9 million increase from the current year – to the school system, but doesn't include an additional $4.55 million that school leaders requested to cover a 1.8 percent raise for teachers.

"There's not enough revenue," Burchett said prior to his presentation in front of about 200 people and the Knox County Commission at the City County Building

But, he added: "Overall, I think it's fair to say that this is a straight forward and lean budget."

The proposed budget is up $15.1 million from the current spending plan with more than half of the increase dedicated to the school system. The budget also includes a $164.3 million general fund, which covers much of the county's which covers much of the day-to-day operations and the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

That fund jumped slightly by $2.7 million, including about an extra $1 million for law enforcement. Overall, the Sheriff's Office will get $77.5 million.

Burchett also proposed a $31.2 million capital improvement plan with about half of it set aside for schools; $13.8 million for highway and street-related initiatives that will include Phase II of Ball Camp Drive; $775,000 to relocate the Carter Convenience Center; $2.5 million for "dangerous" intersection improvements; $1.1 million for 30 Sheriff's Office vehicles; $700,000 in Sheriff's Office security upgrades; $1 million for engineering and public works vehicles; $350,000 for an HVAC system at the animal center; and $250,000 for the Information Technology Department.

The county, through its general fund and hotel-motel tax revenues, also will set aside more than$1.9 million for local organizations. For example, the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Greater Knoxville will get $375,000. The Salvation Army, Keep Knoxville Beautiful, the Sertoma Center, Beck Cultural Center, Friends of Literacy and dozens of other non-profit operations also will get a cut.

You can read the full story right smack here.

You can find the mayor's budget speech right over here.

No comments: