28 Aug Specialist Jon Cartu Publishes – IT funds to be increased by more than $150,000 – The Selma…
Editor’s Note: This article is the third in a series of articles to be published over the coming days that will examine Selma Mayor Darrio Melton’s proposed draft budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The full budget can be viewed online at www.selma-al.gov under Financial Reports.
As was reported in the first article in this series, many city departments are seeing an increase in funding under Selma Mayor Darrio Melton’s recently-released draft budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year – the City of Selma Personnel Department is no exception.
Under Melton’s proposal, the personnel department director and staff would see an increase of more than $38,000 over last year’s numbers for salary and wages, as well as the establishment of a new position, Human Resources Coordinator.
The total proposed budget for the personnel department comes out to $238,330, a more than $47,000 increase over last year’s appropriation, largely on the back of the salary and wage increases, as well as adjustments for increases in employee health and life insurance and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) matching funds.
A similar trend is playing out in the City of Selma Finance Department, which is seeing its salaries and wages increased by over $16,000, with the position of Accounting Manager being established.
Likewise, modest increases were noted for adjustments to insurance contributions and FICA matches, bringing the total to less than $22,000 more than last year.
The City of Selma Cemetery Department is seeing its budget upped by more than $100,000 under Melton’s proposal, with a more than $46,000 increase in salaries and wages for the superintendent and staff and a $43,000 increase for the purchase of two zero-turn lawnmowers, a vacuum cart and a truck for the department.
The cemetery department also sees a $6,000 increase in funds designated for “equipment repairs as needed” under Melton’s proposal, bringing the department’s total proposed budget to more than $550,000.
The city’s summer youth program is seeing a $25,000 budget increase under the mayor’s budget proposal, for which the revival of the Ceramic Arts Program is solely responsible – according to the budget, the program will be moved from the Public Buildings Department and funded as a line item under the summer youth program.
For its part, the City of Selma Public Buildings Department will see a more than $93,000 decrease in funding for salaries and wages and a “reduction in staff and benefits” under Melton’s proposal.
The removal of the ceramics program and art camp from the department’s purview accounts for $16,000 of the decrease, while $800 comes from the removal of money for vehicle maintenance and repair – the department’s budget is slated to be decreased by more than $158,000 in the mayor’s proposed budget.
Aside from moderate changes, the budget for the Selma Police Department (SPD) remains largely unchanged from last year’s budget – while money for salaries and wages will be reduced by more than $13,000, as will the corresponding benefits, the mayor’s proposal calls for a $58,000 increase for equipment, specifically the purchase of 55 body cameras, 25 tazers and more, and $224,000 in new spending for existing debt on five police interceptors, three 2018 vehicles and six 2019 vehicles.
The total proposed budget for the SPD, marking a nearly $180,000 increase over last year’s budget, comes out to $4,768,077.
The City of Selma Information Technology (IT) Department is marked to see a bump of more than $150,000 to its budget under Melton’s proposal, more than $97,000 of which is designated for “data processing expense” – the data process line item calls for $25,000 to be spent on laptop maintenance, over $11,000 for laptop installation, more than $13,000 for fiber optic internet access, $15,000 for tower maintenance and more.
Additionally, the IT department is looking at a nearly $38,000 increase in funding for salaries and wages, as well as the creation of a new position, Network Specialist.
Conversely, the City of Selma Public Works Department is poised to see funding for its salaries and wages decreased by more than $192,000, along with the accompanying benefit payments, but an increase of more than $36,000 for repairs to the public works building and a $50,000 increase in funds for the repair, purchase and maintenance of vehicles.
In all, the department is poised to lose more than $300,000, the data for which is accompanied by a “staff reduction” note in the mayor’s proposed budget.
The Selma Fire Department (SFD) is seeing its overall budget increased by just over $525,000, with a more than $325,000 increase proposed for salaries and wages, as well as the creation of three fire investigator positions and an administrative assistant.
Money for uniforms and clothing is being decreased by $20,000, but the allotment for vehicle repairs and maintenance is being increased by $10,000 and spending on equipment is marked to increase by more than $153,000 for a lease payment on two fire trucks, new computer software and more.
Additionally, under Melton’s proposal, the SFD will get $20,000 to train and equip fire investigator – the department’s full budget comes out to more than $3.5 million.
The mayor’s proposal also calls for the City of Selma Recreation Department’s budget to be increased by more than $23,000, though spending for wages and salaries and the connected benefits will mostly decrease.
An additional $17,760 is budgeted for payment to the Umpires Association for “various leagues,” with youth umpires moved off of salary – the line item also notes “football announcer/official,” though it doesn’t specify the position’s impact on the proposed funding increase.
The mayor’s proposal also calls for the department to receive a $2,000 bump in funding to maintain “aging equipment.”