For the first time in six years, the City of Corbin’s annual budget includes an across-the-board raise for city employees.
Full-time salaried and hourly employees will receive a $1,000 increase, while seasonal employees will receive an adjusted rate increase based on the limited number of hours they work.
“It comes out to about 48 cents on the hour,” said Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney.
With 98 employees, the raise will cost the city almost $100,000 per year.
The second reading of the city’s $11.420 million budget was passed at a special called meeting Friday and like the first reading it was by a vote of 4-1.
Commissioner Suzie Razmus, who voiced her concerns during the first reading on June 20 that revenue projections are overestimated, again voted no.
The projected revenues in the budget are $8.792 million from the general fund. An additional $770,020 is projected from the alcohol taxes. The city will receive $200,000 in municipal aid, which will be used to help fund the public works department and $90,000 in Local Government Economic Assistance, which will help fund the general government and public works.
An additional $1.567 million is projected to come into The Arena fund through the collection of restaurant and hotel taxes that are earmarked for The Arena.
When the commission passed the 2015-16 fiscal year budget, it projected $8.5 million in revenue.
At the June 20 meeting during which the first reading passed, Razmus noted the city had onlybrought in $6.8 million in revenue.
“In one month we are supposed to jump from $6.8 (million) to $8.5 (million)?” Razmus asked.
Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams said previously that instituting the occupational tax on employees working in the Knox County portion of Corbin is expected to generate an additional $500,000.
However, Razmus noted that Barbourville and London have begun selling package beer and hard liquor is coming soon. With that in mind, the revenue generated from the sale of alcohol should be reconsidered.
The Police Department once again accounted for the largest portion of the budget, which is projected at $2.451 million.
That is up more than $200,000 from 2015-16 when it was projected at $2.219 million.
“The police department does a great job, but I can remember when the police department budget was almost in line with the fire department budget ($1.518 million),” Shelton said following the first reading of the budget. “Now we are back up to $2.4 million, which is 200-something thousand dollars more than it was last year, when we complained. And I don’t know why.”
Sams said the department is currently understaffed, with just 19 officers currently working for the department, out of a full complement of 24.
Because of that, the police budget has been swelled by overtime to cover the shifts.
Other appropriations included in the budget broken down by department include:
- General Government $958,730
- Police $2,451,553
- Fire $1,518,031
- Public Works $1,963,700
- Recycling Center $362,925
- Parks and Recreation $676,465
- Building Inspection $142,775
- Flood Control Fund $1,500
- Special Projects $1,093,824
- Economic Development $25,000
- Debt Service $93,745
- Downtown Program $287,578
- Arena $276,350