Details were released by Wright City MO officials about the 2024 balanced budget shortly after it was approved in December 2023.
Wright City aldermen approved a budget that includes more than $2.8 million in income and expenses, according to specific information released by the city.
Wright City aldermen unanimously approved the budget during the city’s Dec. 28 meeting, when it was announced that the city had a balanced budget for the first time in at least four years, but no specific details were released.
According to information released to the public, the city has a budgeted surplus of $36,632.76. It is the first expected surplus in the city since 2018.
It is expecting $2,849,102 in income and $2,812,469.24 in total expenses.
The city expects to receive $340,000 in real estate tax revenue, $110,000 in personal property tax, and $750,000 from the city sales tax as part of the more than $2.8 million in budgeted income.
As far as expenses, the city budgeted more than $1.4 million for the police department, more than $509,000 for public works expenses and more than $97,000 for building inspection expenses.
The city has total reserve funds of more than $6.3 million, with $5.6 million from the 2018 sale of the water and sewer systems.
“When the city made the decision to sell the water system, that cut revenue drastically for the city,” Alderman Ramiz Hakim said during the Dec. 28 meeting. “A big lump of money came in that was used to keep the city afloat, hopefully to the day where somebody could come up with a solution to balance the budget.”
The remaining money the city has in reserve, $620,539.17, is American Rescue Plan Act money that must be used in 2024.
The budget indicates the city will use that money for a grant match as the city moves to phase 2 work on the new 62-acre park on Westwoods Road. The budget indicates that some of the ARPA money will also be used for street improvement projects.
This year’s budget is estimated to be the highest in the city’s history in terms of both expected revenue and expenses. In 2023, the city had estimated revenue of $2.4 million and expenses of $2.5 million. In 2022, the city had only $1.8 million in revenue and expenses of more than $2.4 million.
“We have definitely learned how to prioritize,” Mayor Michelle Heiliger said during the Dec. 28 meeting. “We have definitely learned where our important things need to lie at all times and where we need to build in our safety nets.”
During the Dec. 28 meeting, officials also laid out a plan to ensure the budget remains balanced.
“In June, we will sit down with the budget again and review,” Heiliger said. “At that point, we’ll have a better idea of what our tax income is from the new taxes, our growth, businesses coming in, and it will give us a better idea of what our cash flow is going to look like going forward and then we’ll re-evaluate at that time.”
About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org