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Mayor presents city budget

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings proposed a $4.06 million general fund budget for fiscal year 2004-05 that includes a 2.5 percent raise for all employees.
The budget is $112,250 larger than the current year's budget.
Jennings said most of the city's revenue comes from a 3-cent sales tax.
Among the expected increases in expenditures is a 16.6 percent increase in health insurance premiums for city employees.
The budget also includes plans to purchase three new police cars and two vehicles for the public works department.
Jennings said the budget is based on conservative estimates of revenues. Earlier this week, city clerk John Angel said sales tax revenues, which decreased significantly after the terrorist attacks in 2001, have been slowly increasing. Sales tax revenues rose 3.54 percent in 2002-03, and are up 2.9 percent year to date for 2003-04.
Jennings said there are several unfunded projects the city will consider if revenues exceed expectations. Those include a $140,000 sewerage machine; $38,000 to construct a street department vehicle shed; sewerage extensions and rehabilitation expected to cost as much as $18 million; and an estimated $100,000 needed for street paving.
In other business, the council: