LINCOLN -- Lincoln's 2022 general fund budget projects to receive 25% more in revenue, compared to 2021, with a 21% increase in expenses. City employees will receive a 6% raise in 2022.
Lincoln City Council approved the budget at its Dec. 21 meeting.
For the city general fund, the city expects to receive $699,400 in revenue, compared to $559,145 in the 2021 budget, with $596,650 in expenses, compared to $494,075 in expenses for the 2021 budget, for a net profit of $102,750.
The general fund budget shows that most of the revenue will come from taxes, including $121,000 from the county property tax, $123,000 from franchise taxes, $186,000 from county sales and use tax and about $177,000 from local sales taxes.
Budgets for other departments include:
• Library: Income, $267,010; expenses, $256,850.
• Police: Income, $578,050; expenses, $699,800.
• Sanitation: Income, $236,100; expenses, $213,900.
• Street: Income, $49,130; expenses, $47,800.
• Water: Income, $3,115,850; expenses, $3,069,017.
Capital expenditures for the water department in 2022 will be a new work truck for $40,000, a fence at the wastewater plant for $50,000 and the purchase of 175 radio read meters.
The city projects to receive $340,750 from its 1% local sales tax dedicated for capital improvements.
Capital improvements budgeted out of this account will be two trash truck payments for $57,750, $15,000 for technology, $53,000 for a new police vehicle, $56,500 for new equipment for the police and fire departments, $50,000 for condemnations and cleaning up properties, $35,000 to fence in the police parking lot and $25,000 in miscellaneous expenses.
In other action Dec. 21, the council voted 6-2 to approve an ordinance to amend the Lincoln Municipal Code to give the mayor or other authorized representative the authority to make purchases for "public purpose" for an amount not to exceed $35,000 without having to seek competitive bids.
City council members Billy Rusher and Amanda Thomas voted against the ordinance.
According to the ordinance, the Arkansas Legislature in its 2021 General Session raised the "no-bid ceiling" for first-class cities from $20,000 to $35,000.
For purchases that are above $35,000, the city will have to seek competitive bids, except in cases where the city council "makes special findings for exception situations."
In addition, the council:
• Approved the city's 2022 contract with attorneys Steve Zega, Andrea Anderson and the law firm, Courch, Harwell, Fryar and Ferner, PLLC for legal services. The city will pay $200 per hour for city legal services and $150 per hour for prosecution legal fees.
Zega explained that he was requesting an hourly increase for his services from $175 to $200 per hour but reducing the fees for the city prosecutor from $175 to $150 per hour.
"I looked at my firm's billing from last year to this year and it's almost doubled," Zega told council members.
The main reason for the increase, he said, is that a new attorney is learning the prosecuting duties and it takes her longer than it would take him. He said he didn't think it was fair to ask the city to pay her the same rate as him while she is still learning the job.
Zega said he believes the changes will be a net savings for the city, compared to its 2021 bill for legal services.
• Adopted an ordinance, and approved the emergency clause, to charge a $100 fee for water flow testing. This will allow the city to recoup some of its costs when water flow tests are requested by builders or developers.
• Adopted an appropriation ordinance to waive competitive bidding and enter into a contract with Core & Main for the purchase of 288 water radio-read meters for $46,400.
• Approved a contract with McClelland Consulting Engineers for engineering services as needed in 2022. McClelland already is contracted by the city for other projects.
• Approved a three-year contract with Garver, LLC, for planning services for the city. Juliet Richey with Garver has served as the city's planner for the past four years.
Hulse said Garver does a "great service" for the city.
"We couldn't do it without them," she said.
• Accepted and approved the 2020 audit as conducted by Berry & Associates certified public accountants.
• Tabled an ordinance to amend the city's Municipal Code on permitted uses of fireworks within the city limits.