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City Council sets budget

City Council members discuss the budget as part of a presentation and public hearing on June 6. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

Officials with the City of Mustang convened on June 6 and finalized the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget as part of myriad actions.

The budget, which has been accessible to the public on the City website for most of the past month, was officially presented to the council members as part of a PowerPoint that City Manager Tim Rooney shared in the public hearing.

So, what are the different parts of the budget for people to know about?

Mustang’s general fund started and finished at $7M, with projected revenues coming in at $32,309,000. Projected expenditures matched the revenue projections, too.

Transfers of $125,000 from the defined contribution fund will be for a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan for full-time eligible employees, while a transfer of $150,000 from the hotel tax fund will absorb a portion of the city attorney’s salary and benefits and a transfer of $400,000 will be made from the personal service fund amounting to 10% of the 4th penny sales tax approved in 2016.

Additional benefits for full-time employees not in a union will be to receive 50% of their sick leave balance upon retirement. Rooney said currently police receive 55% of their sick leave balance upon retirement, while fire department employees receive 50%.

According to the PowerPoint, the general fund serves as the city’s primary operating fund and the source of daily operations. It is relies on sales tax and accounts for all activities unless they are legally required to be accounted for elsewhere.

Rooney said the city attorney division is proposing an increase to the judge position from $1,600 a month to $1,900 a month. The last adjustment for the position, according to the presentation, was in Fiscal Year 2012.

Also budgeted would be a new Project Manager position and a new Human Resource Director role for training for three months ahead of the Human Resource Directors retirement.

All of the limited purpose fund capital outlay spending funds were discussed, too. Rooney addressed those funds requests the city had the opportunity to fund.

“This year, we are able to fund all of the level one and level two requests, with the exception of one level two request,” Rooney said. “Any year that we can fund all the requests from staff is a good year, and we are going to do that for all level one and all level two but one.”

Governmental Restricted Funds were also addressed. That includes the council getting projected ending balances on the general fund reserve, impound fee, park improvement, alcohol enforcement, library, traffic enforcement, employee flex spending, park and recreation donation, police technology fees, street and drainage improvements, personal services, police narcotics enforcement, juvenile programs, defined contribution plan, the Distributor Oklahoma Settlement, the community development block grant and debt service categories.

Rooney then wrapped up the presentation by thanking Janet Watts, the city finance director, as well as her staff and the department directors for their help in the process.

“We’re very happy with how this year’s budget worked, and I can’t thank Janet enough for all of her hard work,” Rooney said. “While I get to take all of the credit for this, and it’s my responsibility to submit the budget, the person who does the heavy lifting with this is Janet.”

Councilmen Josh Leete, Michael Ray, James Waugh and Travis McKenzie also expressed their gratitude for Watts work on the budget before it was approved.

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