Warsaw budget packs some heat
Warsaw Town Council approved the town’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014 last Thursday with one amendment.
On June 13, councilmembers unanimously voted to set total revenues and expenditures at $2,334,994.
The town anticipates spending of $960,165 of the general fund, $603,454 in water and $771,375 in sewer.
Both water and sewer will include an increase in base rates for local users.
To account for the projected $771,375 in sewer revenue, the town included $751,375 in base and overage charges from local users as well as $20,000 in wastewater availability fees.
Town officials arrived at $603,454 in water revenue, up $$391,124 from projections for FY 2013 through factoring in $241,354 in projected total charges from local users, $12,000 in water availability fees and a loan of $350,000 from Peoples Community Bank that will be used primarily to finance the drilling of a deep well within town limits.
In relation to the general fund, a motion from Councilmember Randy Phelps amended the general fund to move $5,000 from the town’s contingency reserves to the town’s contribution
to the Richmond County Volunteer Fire Department (RCVFD).
Initially, the Warsaw Finance Committee recommended an allocation of $7,500 to the fire department. But on May 9, Fire Chief Randy Passagaluppi implored that the town add $5,000 to their contribution to assist in the department’s growing expenses.
In discussing his motion to increase the line item for the RCVFD to $12,500, Phelps said that the additional $5,000 reinforced the town’s support of its volunteer firefighters.
“They serve a great need in the community, they have very good community outreach programs and…in my opinion, they operate on a shoestring budget,” said Phelps. “Five thousand dollars is not going to buy them a new truck and it’s not going to buy them a lot of the things that they do need, but it sure will help.”
During public comments, Sarah G. Becker praised the town for increasing their contribution to RCVFD.
“We have got a top-notch fire department, so thank you so much for giving them what you can,” said Becker.
The FY 2014 budget will go into effect July 1.
Councilmembers Ralph Self, Wendi Nesbit and Ogle Forrest did not attend the meeting.
In other news, Town Manager John Slusser said he anticipated the completion of a public playground in the Warsaw Town Park as soon as Saturday, July 20.
Slusser added that the groups involved in bringing the playground to Warsaw are seeking volunteers from the community to assist in the project’s completion.
Slusser said the volunteers would help in spreading the engineered wood-based mulch throughout the playground’s base the day before its grand opening.
Slusser added that, in conferring with the Warsaw-Richmond County Main Street Program and the Warsaw-Richmond County Chamber of Commerce, the groups expect to hold a community cookout in conjunction with the playground’s completion.
“That’s subject to change, but that’s certainly the idea to have a kickoff for the grand opening with a community event,” said Slusser.
Additionally, council authorized Slusser to begin the process of demolishing the former Warsaw Health Care Center once the town takes possession of the property.