EDMOND — City council members made few suggestions on the proposed $223.6 million budget and five-year financial plan during a public hearing this week.
They are expected to approve the fiscal year 2012-13 budget at their May 29 meeting. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Six new full-time positions are included in the proposed budget. Edmond has added only three positions in the last three years, said City Manager Larry Stevens.
“We have been responsible in adding very few full-time positions to our city organization in the recent years associated with the economic downturn,” Stevens said.
Three of the employees would be custodial positions in the facility maintenance department. The new employees would
“The money that would have been paid to the contractual service will be used to offset approximately 87 percent of the cost of the salaries and benefits for these positions,” said Anita Breen, the city's human resources director.
Other hires suggested are a code enforcement officer, an administration specialist for public works and a customer service representative in finance.
Nonunion employees will get a 3 percent salary adjustment for the next fiscal year because staff evaluations will now be done on the worker's anniversary date instead of all evaluations coming due on July 1.
The adjustments are intended to make up for employees who would normally get a step raise on July 1, but must now wait until their anniversary, which might be six to 11 months later in the fiscal year. Eligible employees could also get a 2.5 percent step raise.
City staff is negotiating with the police and fire unions to determine salary increases.
The proposed budget includes $527,500 to help 13 Edmond social agencies. That figure is up $25,500 from this fiscal year.
Mayor Charles Lamb said he wants to consider a $12,000 allocation to the Edmond Arts and Humanities Council separately after the council restructures the arts council and a routine internal audit is completed.
Arts council member Ines Burnham said the council has 16 members and there are five vacancies, which makes it hard to achieve a quorum at its meetings.
Lamb said the Arts and Humanities Council is one of the oldest Edmond boards and the council needs to review its
Next year's proposed budget is a 3.69 percent increase from this year's budget.
City staff calculated an 18 percent, or $194,458, increase in the proposed budget for fuel costs due to the ongoing volatility of oil prices. They projected oil prices could climb to at least $115 a barrel next year.
“Midyear adjustments are an option that will be used if needed,” Stevens said.
The proposed budget includes expectations of a 3 percent growth in revenues.
“We are comfortable in planning for continued growth that will occur at a more modest pace,” Stevens said.