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(Sue Steininger photo)

Lake Saint Louis budget to include funding for parks, streets and people

More money for a new trail, for city employees, and for a new full-time city administrative position are expected to be some of the new features of the city of Lake Saint Louis’ 2016-17 fiscal year budget.

The city’s new budget year begins July 1 with its Board of Aldermen is expected to take action later this month.

Financially the city is in good shape, said City Administrator Paul Markworth.

City officials anticipate revenues may exceed expenses and city sales tax collections are up 8 percent, he said. That extra sales tax will help increase the city’s fund balance, which may reach about $3.4 million later this year. “It’s kind of become a rainy day account,” Markworth said.

In presentations to aldermen in May and again at the board’s June 6 meeting, Markworth outlined budget highlights and recommendations, and sought aldermanic input.

The city’s general fund, which includes most of the district’s departments and covers city services, may be about $10.2 million next year, Markworth said. The city’s other major fund, its capital fund, may be close to $1.92 million. The city is expected to have a cash balance of about $3.4 million later this fall.

The budget is expected to include a $3 percent payroll increase for the city’s near 100 full- and some part-time employees. The city’s real estate property and debt service rates are not expected to increase. Aldermen set tax rates generally during September.

The city may add a full-time assistant public works position, a part-time dispatcher and a part-time building inspector. Markworth said the part-time dispatcher will allow city police to have two dispatchers on duty from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven days a week. The city will have one dispatcher on duty from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. The part-time building inspector position reflects the increase in development activity in the city.

Major line items in the budget are expected to include road improvements and stormwater and parks projects. The city has additional funds from Proposition P, a half-cent capital improvement sales tax, approved by voters in 2013.

The city may opt to use the earmarked sales tax funding to resurface Zachary’s Playground, a specially designed playground at Hawk Ridge Park and to install new roofs at the Boulevard Park pavilion and walking paths at Boulevard Park.

The city also may use $190,000, which it is receiving in sales tax revenue as a result of a court case involving O’Fallon, for park development. In particular, those funds may go toward developing a trail along Peruque Creek, possibly to St. Charles County’s Quail Ridge Park.

Another budget priority may be a road monument sign at the Interstate 64 and Prospect Road intersection that may cost about $45,000. The city also may opt to add lights and improve facilities and the look of the city’s so-called “Uptown District” area along Lake Saint Louis Boulevard near Interstate 70. Lights are expected to be installed in the trees along Lake Saint Louis Boulevard from Veterans Memorial Parkway to the dam across the main community lake.

Electrical outlets have been installed and lights will be installed in trees along the boulevard are expected to be installed and turned on during the Christmas holiday season. “We’re trying to do some stuff we haven’t done in the past,” Markworth said.


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