The City Council took the first steps in scrubbing through the 129-slide presentation for the 2018-2019 budget in the first of several special workshops.

Interim City Manager Ryan Haverlah on Tuesday characterized the city’s annual operating budget as a product of good money management.

Though annual projected expenditures often outweigh the city’s yearly revenue, the end result typically comes out to expenditures ending up lower than revenue, Haverlah said.

“We’re budgeting for as many factors as possible,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dan Yancey in agreement with Haverlah. “The reality is that many of them never come into fruition.”

Proposed budgets for all city departments funded by the municipal general fund, in addition to the water and sewer fund, were reviewed and discussed by the councilmen.

Still pending review are the solid waste fund and the golf course fund, to be scrutinized by council Thursday evening.

General fund expenses are proposed at $43,982,222, which outweigh revenues that are set at $38,951,012.

The city is expected to dip into reserves, which are set at $12,993,861 to make up the difference. The ending fund balance is set to be $7,962,651.

Water and sewer expenses are proposed at $13,379,640, while revenues are set at $12,147,437.

Similar to the city’s management with the general fund, Cove will dip into $1,556,485 bundled under “beginning undesignated fund balance” to make up the shortfall.

The toll of the city’s 20 percent senior citizen discount on water charges caught the eye of Councilman Charlie Youngs.

The city is anticipated to lose about $700,000 total next year providing the senior citizen water and sewer discount, according to the budget presentation.

Youngs suggested eventually doing away with senior citizen discounts in Cove by residually phasing out of the program. Councilman James Pierce Jr. suggested eventually compromising by offering a sort of reduced senior citizen discount.

Councilmen then quickly shifted their focus to the several more budget figures remaining.

Another budget workshop will be Tuesday. On July 26, the council will discuss the tax rate, which will be voted on July 31.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is also scheduled July 31.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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