Sales tax revenue is projected to increase about $100,000 to $4.8 million for 2017, with total general fund revenues budgeted at $6,882,491 -- up from $6,648,700 in 2016. Of the $30.6 million in anticipated expenditures, $3.5 million is carryover from 2016. These are projects or purchases that were budgeted in 2016 but won’t be completed until 2017.

The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen is expected to approve a $30.4 million operating budget for next year when it meets for the final time of the year Dec. 15.

The board approved first reading of an ordinance adopting the budget last week after holding a public hearing during which there was no comment from the public.

The proposed budget is an increase of 5.16 percent over the 2016 budget of $28.9 million, or about $1,497,492 more. Increases are in the general, ambulance, Lee C. Fine Airport, Prewitt's Point TIF and Dierbergs TIF funds. There are decreases projected in the CIT (Capitol Improvement Tax), Water and Sewer Transportation and Grand Glaize Airport funds.

With an eye to the future, the board is also considering a Reserve Fund Policy that calls for establishing guidelines for building reserves in the several city funds.

Based on proposed budget projections, the Transportation and Sewer reserve funds should be fully funded by the end of the 2017 fiscal year. However, the General Fund is estimated to be 57 percent by year-end, the Water Fund 92 percent, the Lee C. Fine Fund at 47 percent and the Grand Glaize Fund at 8 percent.

The proposed policy includes scheduled target dates to reach reserve levels for funds that are not fully funded. The General and Transportation funds should be funded at 25 percent of a three-year average. The Water and Sewer funds should be at 16 percent of a three-year average, and the Lee C. Fine Airport and Grand Glaize Airport reserves should be 8 percent.

Budget Overview

Sales tax revenue is projected to increase about $100,000 to $4.8 million for 2017, with total general fund revenues budgeted at $6,882,491 -- up from $6,648,700 in 2016.

Of the $30.6 million in anticipated expenditures, $3.5 million is carryover from 2016. These are projects or purchases that were budgeted in 2016 but won’t be completed until 2017.

Carryover projects by department include:

Park – Peanick Park playground project

Transportation – Completion of Nichols Road (OB Pkwy to exit, currently under construction)

Transportation – Dude Ranch Road sidewalks

Transportation – Zebra connector road

Transportation – Mace Road Phase I (engineering and construction to begin in 2017)

Sewer – Various lift station and line upgrades throughout the city

Water – Water Master Plan

Lee C. Fine Airport – Miscellaneous shed and rental house repairs

Personnel expenditures budgeted are 3.8 percent higher than in 2016. The city plans to eliminate three part-time positions. but add two full time positions. Salaries are projected to increase 4.6 percent, employee life insurance is projected to jump 28 percent and workman's compensation is budgeted to jump 19.9 percent.

The city is proposing to add one additional building inspector who will also handle code enforcement. In addition two part time positions are proposed to be made full time -- a receptionist and an IT technician. With other part time position changes, overall for 2017 the city will be net one less in overall total; net two additional full time and net three less part time compared to 2016. For 2017 the city plans to employ 127 people -- 103 full time positions and 24 part time citywide, a net change of one fewer.

Operations and maintenance expenditures are projected to be 17 percent higher than in 2016 due mainly to a few large, one-time maintenance expenditures budgeted in the Transportation Fund.

The city plans to seal and stripe the entire Osage Beach Parkway, a project that will cost more than $700,000. Woods said the city has funds set aside and the project will not repeat for several years.

Capital expenditures are expected to be 2 percent higher than in 2016. The main contributor to this increase is the taxiway reconstruction project at Lee C. Fine Airport. 

Major projects

Major projects by department planned for 2017 include:

•City Hall security upgrades, i.e. additional locks, bullet proof glass

•Park – Sand volleyball courts

•Park – various equipment upgrades

•Transportation – Engineering planning for OB Parkway Sidewalks Phase 5 & 6 (theses will be grant-requested projects from MODOT like the others have been. Iff awarded, construction is possible in 2018.

•Transportation – Various street storm water upgrades

•Sewer – various equipment upgrades

•Water – Engineer planning for new well

•Water – Cleaning of two water towers (Columbia College Tower and Passover Tower)

•Citywide IT upgrades for enhanced security and operational upgrades, i.e. moving to Government Office 365

Other capital expansion planned as part of the 2017 operating budget include necessary HVAC upgrades at city hall, two new police vehicles, portable radios and several road projects including the completion of the Nichols Road project currently under construction.

In 2017, a focus will be placed on managing appropriate cash reserves for all funds, a key attribute of a financially stable organization, according to Woods.

"Strong reserves position the city to weather economic downturns, manage effects of outside agency actions including state or federal mandates, maintain the capital needs of the departments, and to effectively address unexpected emergencies such as a natural disaster," she explained.

The city has been been fortunate over the years to have maintained at times significant, unrestricted balances, Woods said, but a policy outlining specifics for those balances will provide staff and future boards detailed guidance on the use of city’s cash resources. A policy will be brought before the board of aldermen to consider alongside the 2017 operating budget.

"The budget process is the most important activity of the year as a majority of the city’s most important decisions are made during this process," Woods said. "The board and staff put in countless hours to complete a final budget for the city that best allocates the city’s resources to achieve results that are valued by the community and maintains needed reserves for financial sustainability."