BAKER — The City Council held a public hearing Tuesday on its proposed 2012-13 budget.
Revenue from municipal utilities is forecast to be $4.75 million and spending will total $4.73 million, according to the budget.
Anticipated current revenues not counting last year’s surplus amount to $6.88 million against anticipated spending of $8.18 million, producing a projected deficit of about $1.3 million to be covered from the previous year’s surplus, officials said.
City Court Judge Kirk Williams questioned using surplus funds to balance the budget rather than reducing expenditures, even laying off employees if other reductions cannot be found.
With expenditures going up and revenue going down, in three years the city’s surplus reserve fund of $4 million will be gone and the city will be bankrupt, Williams said.
During the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, revenue and expenditures will be monitored and adjusted to avoid the deficit and prevent laying off employees, said Aristead Clayton, finance director.
Higher than anticipated utility revenue will help balance the budget and ease the deficit, added Julie McCulloch, public works director.
Other issues considered by the council included:
COUNCIL CHAMBER: During a public hearing on a proposal to restrict use of the council chamber to city meetings and functions only, Councilwoman-elect Joyce Burges spoke against the ordinance.
Other rooms are available in City Hall and in the nearby public library where meetings can be held, said Councilwoman Carlon Simpson, who introduced the ordinance.
The council voted 3-2 for the restriction, with council members Charles Vincent and Robert Young voting against it.
CONDEMNATIONS: The burned-out house at 4411 Ashland St., owned by Brian Collins, 6479 Summerlin Drive, Zachary, has been demolished at a cost of $3,100. The owner has filed for bankruptcy and a lien has been placed on the property.
Rosetta Talbert, 3806 Charry Drive, agreed to have Peak Enterprises, Albany, fill in her swimming pool at a cost of $4,100.
A purchase agreement will be signed this week for the houses at 4477 and 4451 Baker Blvd. The houses are being maintained and the grass cut.