Milton officials amend budget for tower fixFunds for work planned over next two years
Milton — Milton Town Council amended its budget to include repair work for the water tower in Shipbuilder's Village. During the six-month budget review, officials included $17,000 of an estimated $100,000 to cover the costs for the design phase of the repair project.
Last May, a public works employee discovered surface cracks in the concrete foundation of the 75,000-gallon tower were growing larger. The tower is the smaller of the town's two elevated storage tanks; a 150,000-gallon tank is located at Memorial Park. The repair work was in consideration for this year's referendum for water-system upgrades, but residents voted against borrowing any money. The failed referendum left council searching for alternative ways to complete important projects, and the town's water committee recommended the water tower work be funded from the water department's cash reserves.
The remaining $83,000 will be included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
Other minor adjustments were made before council unanimously voted on the budget review. As of April 30, the town is projecting a surplus in transfer taxes of more than $12,000. Mayor Marion Jones said she wants everyone to be aware of potential future sidewalks, streets and water-improvement projects that transfer taxes could be used for.
“I'm worried about the need for some of the capital improvement projects that may be facing the community this year,” she said.
Vice Mayor John Booros was against earmarking any money at this time, saying the town should be conservative with its money.
“I think Councilwoman Patterson and I made it clear last year during the budget hearings that we wanted to see the leftover money socked away, not spent,” he said.
During the fiscal year 2013 budget process, Booros and Patterson each fought to have the number of projected new homes and estimated transfer tax revenue lowered to a more conservative estimate.
“We intentionally [did that] so that if and when we received more it would be extra,” he said. “We've got extra, so let's not spend it.”
Town Manager Win Abbott provided council with statistics in his June financial report. According to Abbott, the revenue from rental and business licenses is more than $18,000 greater and fees from professional services are nearly $12,000 higher than the same period in the previous fiscal year. On the other hand, revenue from sewer license fees are more than $5,800 less than the previous year.