Trenton budget proposals set for city council review

Finance Committee Meeting News Graphic
Share To Your Social Network

Budgets for the city of Trenton and municipal utilities will advance to the full city council. So will the grade and position table with a proposed merit and years of service pay scale for the employees. The pay scale document has been developed over the past several weeks by city officials, working with the finance committee. Mayor Jackie Soptic reiterated last evening the focus is to provide what she called a fair and consistent wage schedule that helps the city to attract and retain employees. It also establishes the entry rate of pay for new employees in the various departments of the city and TMU.

Members of the finance committee voted three to two to forward the grade and position table, including the pay scale, to the full council for review. In favor were Councilmen Calvin Brown, Duane Urich, and John Dolan. Opposed to moving the document at this time were Lou Fisher and David Mlika. Fisher believes that the development of the document was “rushed” to coincide with the new fiscal year, which starts May 1. Fisher would like to have a few more months for review before he’ll feel comfortable with it.

City administrator/Utility Director Ron Urton said he felt the finance committee at a previous meeting expressed an intention to include the grade and position table with the employee pay scale as part of the new budgets. Fisher last evening called for it to be removed. When the council looks at the proposed budgets, it will include the grade and position table with the recommended employee pay scale. Calvin Brown initiated discussion as to what time of year should the council consider the cost of living adjustments, which Brown simply described as raises.

For at least the last couple of years, the council has granted cost of living allowances to employees in November based on the profits generated by that year’s sale of asphalt produced at the plant by the street department. Brown wondered if the COLA should be offered, if there’s money for it, in conjunction with the approval of the new budgets; thus, not waiting to see what amount of revenues the asphalt plant will produce. He even suggested city officials contact other employers to see if they offer cost of living allowances to their workers. Some finance committee members indicated they could wait until spring to decide whether to consider COLAs since the asphalt plant revenue (from the previous summer and fall) will be known.

The finance committee voted to send the fiscal year 2024-25 city and TMU budgets to the full council. No one spoke up last evening to oppose that motion.

Urton pointed out the city budget includes one new position – that of assistant city clerk, who would work alongside Cindy Simpson before her retirement. The budgeted salary, including benefits, is approximately $60,000. The city budget going to the council has a projected deficit of $582,000 for the one year period. Even if that occurs by the end of the fiscal year, the city of Trenton fund balance will still be more than three million dollars (projected April 30, 2025, balance of $3,187,009).

Trenton Municipal Utilities has three funds: electric, water, and wastewater. For the 2024-25 fiscal year, the proposed budget shows after depreciation, the electric fund would have a loss of $318,000; the water fund would have a gain of $40,000, and the wastewater fund will have a profit of $164,000 – again covering one year.

While the electric fund may experience a deficit by the end of the next fiscal year, the reserves would still be sufficient to maintain the minimum cash reserve balance of more than two million, 390 thousand dollars.

All budgetary figures and positions are subject to further review and possible approval at an upcoming meeting of the eight-member, Trenton City Council.

Share To Your Social Network