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Town of Vidalia released its proposed budget with overall projected revenues of $51.1 million and overall projected expenses equaling $48.8 million.

Hydroelectric revenues pushed Vidalia’s income to above $50 million while expenses rose mainly due to approximately $3 million worth hydroelectric rebates, according to Mayor Buz Craft. Rebates are approximately $300,000 more than last year’s budget.

Craft said in his budget letter to Town Council members, “The 2022-2023 budget continues my administration’s focus on transparency, efficiency and fiscal responsibility. My highest priority since the beginning of my term in office has been ensuring quality controls are in place to move our community forward.”

In its general fund, the main operating fund, Vidalia showed total revenues from local sources amounting to $1.18 million, according to the proposed budget. Local sources include taxes, licenses and permits, fines and forfeits and charges for services.

“We are maintaining the current level of revenues from licenses and permits and fines and forfeits,” wrote Debra Moak, Vidalia city accountant. “Other revenue shows a reduction due to elimination of the purchase of vehicles which were included in the previous year’s budget and due to the decrease in revenue from the beautification committee since contributions are being handled by individuals outside the municipality.”

Revenue from state sources totaled $1.45 million, and federal revenue sources amounted to $2.64 million, according to the proposed budget.

Vidalia’s various departments showed a nearly 20 percent increase in expenditures from last year’s budget, totaling some $10.7 million.

The police department showed the most expenditures at $3 million followed by the fire department at $1.9 million, according to the proposed budget.

General and administrative, street and information technology all budgeted approximately $1.5 million each in the proposed budget.

Special revenue fund, which is separate from the general fund, is projected to be 16 percent higher than last year, according to Moak. The biggest increase is due to the increase in expected revenues from the hydroelectric royalties.

Total local income for the special revenue is budgeted at some $33.3 million, according to the proposed budget.

State contributions include for special revenue is projected at $42,000 while federal income for special revenue totaled $33.3 million, according to the proposed budget.

Sales tax revenues are trending slightly higher for the next fiscal year due to new construction activity, according to Moak.

Special revenue fund expenditures by funds totaled $23.3 million with hydro royalty making up the majority of costs at some $20 million, according to the proposed budget.

“This budget does not include the expenditures from the grant the town will receive in the total amount of $1.4 million from the American Rescue Plan,” Moak wrote. “We have received the first payment at the time of the budget. Approximately $1 million has been earmarked for the town’s match on the pending capital outlay projects.”

Projected ending fund balance for the 2022-2023 budget totaled approximately $44.4 million, according to the proposed budget.

In his letter, Craft said the proposed budget “represents hours of hard work and planning from our accountants, department heads and supervisors. Our town is the ‘City on the move’ because of our people, our work ethics, our dreams and our ambitions.”

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