Jefferson City mayor presents budget

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JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, Mayor Carrie Tergin presented her approved budget to the city council. 

Tergin calls the budget "conservative but accurate." 

Currently, the budget is estimated at $63,353,702. For 2017, the budget was $60,787,209. The new budget represents slightly less than a one percent increase. 

Tergin said the budget remains very similar to last year's budget. 
 
However, some changes include a decrease in funds from a utilities tax due to adjustment for milder winters and a decrease in revenue from the cigarette sales tax due to a decrease in sales. 
  
The mayor's approved budget adds a floating holiday for employees with benefits and a 2 percent salary increase for some employees. 

The budget is based around yearly and historic averages.  

Tergin said she made few changes to the budget, but she did add $20,000 for improvements to the Missouri State Penitentiary, a project she said she hopes will bring future economic growth to the city. 

"We're looking at future growth. Hopefully as the prison redevelopment happens that will bring new jobs and growth and opportunities. Of course, there will be a cost to get that going, but at the same time that also brings a lot of private investment and tourism dollars into the community," Tergin said. 

She also referenced the construction of a new high school as a possible source of growth. Due to the tight budget, there is not room for a lot of extra projects.

She said the changes reflect the cooperation of the city and council members. 

Monday's presentation was just another step of the process but provides a framework around which the council can have future conversations.

During today's meeting, council members voiced questions over storm water funding, employee salaries, and sales tax estimates. 

The city will continue to meet and discuss each line item until an agreement is reached. 

This budget will go into effect November 1. 

"Council had some concerns about the heavy rains that started last summer with some additional potential projects to look at with storm water improvements." 

Tergin said she is confident with where the budget is now. 

"Throughout the year, there's a lot of finance and budget discussions, so really coming here tonight is something where the council is very prepared," Tergin said. 

Tergin said citizens are also aware of the status of the city's revenue because documents are available throughout the year. 

More details on the budget will be posted at the Jefferson City government website on Tuesday. 

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