City Council announces 2011 budget

Katherine Martin

The Tuscaloosa City Council adopted its 2011 budget for the city at their meeting Tuesday night.

Due to a general fund operating deficit in 2009 and a very small projected surplus in 2010, the council took a conservative approach to the 2010 budget, a memorandum said.

“I am very pleased,” said Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox. “Out of a $110 million general fund budget, and a $30 million water and sewage budget, there was only $400,000 worth of difference. I believe that indicates a shared goal of being conservative in the upcoming fiscal year.”

Maddox said the major change in the budget from last year’s budget is that the city is fully funding health insurance for employees.

Employee insurance amounts will remain as they were in the 2010 budget based on $730 per person monthly, the memorandum said.

Because the monthly premium slightly exceeds $730 per person, there is a $300,000 “Transfer to the Health Insurance Fund” included in the general fund expenditures in the event that more money needs to be moved to the health insurance fund during the year.

The new budget projects $111,016,781 in revenue for the 2011 year, up more than $2 million from last year.

Due to budget constraints, city employees will not receive a step raise for the 2011 year and the cost of living index was negative, the memorandum stated.

City-funded agencies, including PARA Arts Council, Children’s Hands on Museum and Tuscaloosa Children’s Theater, will not receive an increase in funding for the 2011 fiscal year.

Maddox said another change in this year’s budget is the opening of the amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is projected to add over $1 million in revenue for the city.