City approves budget
By Michael Butler
One of the biggest tasks for the Tallassee City Council and specifically the finance committee is to itemize a budget for the next fiscal year. Mission accomplished.
The council approved the 2023-24 budget of approximately $11 million. Revenues are projected to be about $11.5 million.
"We have a little bit of a budget surplus which you like to have because things always come up," Mayor Sarah Hill said. "We have not decided on our appropriations for the year to different Tallassee groups and 501(c)(3)s. That will be considered over the next month.
"We also had a request from the Tallassee Police Department to bring their per hour salary more in line with neighboring agencies. We are looking at that."
Hill added that a five percent raise for city employees is being applied.
"(It's) a cost of living adjustment," she said. "One of my goals before I leave is to ensure that we get on a merit review process and get some merit raises. I know that some of our employees who have been here for a long time deserve some love and more money. Retention is one of the biggest issues. We want to keep the people that we have and make sure that everyone is meeting the expectations of the positions that they have."
The projected numbers are much in line with last year's figures, Hill noted.
"There's a slight increase but nothing out of the ordinary that we haven't seen in a trajectory the last six or seven years."
Hill has been a part of the administration during that span since 2016 as a member of the city council and the past year-plus as mayor.
"When I first became a council member, I think we were working with a six- and seven-million dollar budget, so to get to $11 million that's pretty big. There have been a lot of changes that have helped us utilize the money in the right way to make sure we have true numbers instead of just guessing.
"We do have a good, healthy budget at this point - the biggest that we've seen, but we're working with what we've got. That's good."