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City of West Point approves 2019 operating budget

WEST POINT – The West Point City Council unanimously approved the city’s 2019 budget in a short city council meeting Monday night. The city will operate with a general fund budget of $6,140,040 in 2019, and an overall budget of $19,525,995 between the general fund and enterprise funds.

The general fund budget of $6,140,040 represents approximately a 16 percent reduction from the 2018 general fund budget of $7,150,978. The primary driving factor behind this reduction is a projected revenue decrease of $897,660 from the Economic Development/Forward Fund, from $1,320,200 in 2018 to $422,540 in 2019. This is being driven by the reduction in Payment in Lieu of Taxes from automotive companies within the city limits, per City Manager Ed Moon.

A 2 percent pay increase for all government employees was also approved, as was the purchase of two additional police cars.

The city’s enterprise funds are projected to bring in approximately $8 million, with the majority of that revenue being generated from the electric fund. The city’s electric fund is projected to bring in $6,434,894 in revenue, and will transfer $1.1 million of this money to the general fund to help manage expense.

Water and sewer has a combined budget of $3,703,586 and natural gas will operate with a budget of $1,397,375. The electric rates, water and sewer rates and natural gas rates will not see a rate change this year.

The overall budget represents a 4 percent reduction from 2018, or a reduction in a dollar amount of $841,807.

In other actions, Council Woman Sandra Thornton thanked city employees for their involvement with the local Salvation Army Angel Tree effort.

“We served 40-plus families and 80-plus children this year,” Thornton said. “My hat goes off to Kristen Lester, who made this so much easier this year. We were halfway done this year before we actually started. I just can’t say thank you enough to everybody.”