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City passes $12.7M budget

Tuesday, the Andalusia City Council passed a $12.7 million budget Mayor Earl Johnson described as “flat.”

“It’s a flat budget for both revenue and expenses,” Johnson said, adding that expenditures were actually less than last year, except for a few expenses beyond the council’s control.

The $11.42 million in expenditures includes an increase in medical insurance and step raises automatically received by city employees based on the city’s personnel plan. A 2 percent cost of living raise for employees also was included.

The city is required by law to budget 10 percent of its projected revenue in contingency funds. As the year progresses, a vote of the council is required to spend contingency funds. At the end of this month — which ends the city’s fiscal year — the city expects to have more than $800,000 left in its contingency funds.

Last year, the city budgeted $12,656,450 in expenditures, and amended that budget Tuesday night to add an additional $93,000 in expenses.

“Basically, this ‘rights’ the budget,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the new budget is “very frugal” and that, from time to time, the council might have to say “no” to requests in order to make the spending plan work.

In other business, the council:

Approved a request to provide $5,000 for the Andalusia Band Boosters’ A-Town band competition. Already, 16 bands have registered to participate in this year’s event, set for Sat., Oct. 3.

Agreed to replace turnout gear for seven firefighters at a cost of $14,464.