Andalusia City Council approves $27 million budget

Published 2:45 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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The Andalusia City Council on Tuesday approved a $27 million budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

“Our department heads, the council and I have worked extremely hard putting together yet another conservative plan for the new year,” Mayor Earl Johnson said.

The budget has only a 6.67 percent increase in actual operating expenses, the mayor said, adding that it includes cost-of-living adjustments for city employees, as well as funding for currently open jobs in the police department and other areas of the city.

“When you look at the increase in operating expenses about a third of it is allocated for a cost-of-living adjustment or COLA, Performance Pay, and associated benefits. The City Council and I agreed to implement a 5 percent COLA, over two years, for all of our employees. It is important that we keep our pay scale in line with the current labor market.”

The budget includes:

  • $26.2 million in operating expenses
  • $250,000 in the contingency fund
  • $586,903 for the capital improvement account, which is used for equipment or construction.

“We are pleased that the city’s revenues, which come mostly from sales taxes, continue to grow,” Mayor Johnson said. “Our employees and I work very hard at economic development in our quest to make sure Andalusia residents have the best quality of life possible, and that others choose our city as a destination.

“Since 2000, retail sales in the City of Andalusia have increased from $141.6 million to $314 million, or about 122 percent,” Mayor Johnson said. “We believe that we will continue to see growth in the retail sector as more new businesses open here. In just the next quarter, we know that Lost Pizza, Bealls, and Marshalls are all slated to open.”

The mayor said additional economic development announced are expected in the next three to six months, as well.

“We feel good about the local economy, and appreciate all of those who shop here, as well as those who have invested and own businesses here,” he said.