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Board approves $55.6 million budget

During last week’s Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Town Administrator James Lewellen presented a balanced budget that does not require a tax increase.

The proposed 2017 fiscal year total General Fund Budget is $55,668,698.

“The priority of this budget is to continue the services and programs that make Collierville a great place to live and work,” said Mayor Stan Joyner. “Our top tier focus is on public safety, schools, investment in infrastructure and prudent financial management.”

Lewellen outlined a total budget that will operate on a sales tax rate of $1.78. Town operations will function from $1.53 of the tax rate and 25 cents of the total tax rate is dedicated to school funding.

The projected revenue is $56,412,404.

Lewellen noted that town’s total contribution to schools is $8.7 million and the town is realizing $4.8 million in revenue from the half cent sales tax for schools and $3.8 million from the 25-cent property tax approved for funding of the new high school.

This was the second year that the town’s budget included the budget for Collierville Schools.

Superintendent John Aitken made a presentation covering the highlights of the $71,471,852 schools budget.

Going into the fall, Aitken projected a district enrollment of 8,190 which is an increase of 127 students. Much of the focus of the schools budget is in classroom instruction with six additional classroom positions, two additional ESL teachers, two additional APEX teachers, nine additional special education assistants, an additional elementary school counselor, an additional speech pathologist and an additional full time nurse.

The schools budget included other needs such as materials, equipment, technology, software and funding for health and medical benefits.

The town’s Capital Investment Program budget is $9,500. The CIP budget has a focus on improving existing infrastructure including drainage and storm water management, expansion of public facilities and maintaining an adequate fleet of equipment.

Some of the projects contained in the CIP budget are:
• The widening of Shelby Drive in preparation for the new high school
• New traffic signals at Poplar and Progress Road, Shelby Drive and Byhalia and Shelby Drive and Sycamore
• $670,000 dollars in drainage improvements
• $747,000 in Parks improvements including new restrooms at Town Square
• Design phase of renovations to Fire Station No. 2 at 391 Old Byhalia Road
Some highlights of the General Fund Operations are:
• investment of $1.5 million in street paving
• purchase of 7 new police vehicles
• 1 automated garbage truck
• 1 brush collection truck
• 1 leaf collection truck

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen began working on the budget in January, holding weekly work sessions with town staff.

The budget process will be completed on June 13 when the Board votes to adopt the budget which will go into effect on July 1. The town, like all municipalities in Tennessee, is required by State statute to approve a balanced budget annually by July 1.

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