Lake Saint Louis City Administrator Paul Markworth presented the city’s new budget to the mayor and board of aldermen at the May 18 work session.
“I’m really happy with this budget,” Markworth said. “We’ve accomplished everything we wanted, funded everyone’s requests, and we still have some money left over.”
The $10.6 million budget is up from last year’s $10.4 million budget.
With revenues from property taxes and sales taxes up, Markworth recommended that the city’s tax levy stay the same and that $87,000 in unappropriated revenue go into reserves for capital projects.
On the revenue side, Markworth said, new construction would mean an extra $100,000 in the city’s coffers. Sales taxes were up, he said, and the city could also expect additional revenue from a new fall youth baseball league.
The city’s prosperity could mean salary increases for city employees if the board passes the new budget. $400,000 is earmarked to bring the city’s salaries more in line with with a 2012 study of similar markets.
Without the increase, Markworth said, “Our pay is still falling behind our market cities.” Surprisingly, he added, there was no expected increase in medical insurance and LAGERS (retirement and disability benefits for government employees).
Other budget requests included riot gear and body cameras for the police, as well as an extra detective position. Chief Mike Force cited a dramatic increase in identity theft creating the need for an extra detective. “I’ve got to get someone in the bureau to investigate those crimes,” he said.
Public works requested radar counters and multi-lane counters to help determine road traffic. Parks requests included automatic flushing toilets, lockers, and a new grill at Boulevard Park, as well as new playground equipment at Founder’s Park to replace older items that were taken out and never replaced.
Among other capital projects, the city is planning to place a monument sign on Highway 364, to repave Civic Center Drive, and to make improvements to the intersection of Hawk Ridge Trail and Highway N.
“We’re in a good place right now,” Markworth said.