The Madison Board of Estimates finalized the 2013 operating budget at a meeting Monday and unanimously voted to recommend a resolution that will reallocate general funds to police, the fire department and the city clerk’s office.
The proposed resolution will allocate $5,099,500 from the general fund balance to cover unbudgeted expenditures in 2012 for the Madison Police Department, the city of Madison Fire Department and city clerk.
A total of $915,000 will go toward covering permanent salaries, overtime and fringe benefits for the MPD.
Major crime investigations and President Barack Obama’s two visits to Madison last year were among the reasons why the MPD went over the budgeted expenditures in 2012.
“Police overtime fluctuates greatly from year to year depending on the number of major crimes [that] occurred,” said Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.
Finance Director David Schmiedicke said the allocation of funds to the fire department mostly covered additional staffing and recruiting costs.
The funds will also go toward moving costs and building relocation. The total required reallocation of funds for the fire department is $175,500.
For the city clerk’s office, unbudgeted expenditures went toward additional election costs in 2012 associated with the recall and presidential elections. Approximately $580,000 will be used to pay for costs such as overtime and election staffing.
In addition, board members unanimously approved a recommendation to use $19,300 to assist Madison Metro.
“In 2012, we underfunded them for fringe benefits,” Schmiedicke said. “The allocation will correct that.”
The funds will go toward information services, promotion efforts and operations for 2013. Fuel cost is expected to decrease, according to Schmiedicke, due to a fuel contract signed earlier this year.
In the past year, the city received revenue from a significant increase in ambulance fees and in fees for building permits.
“We do a better job of identifying the [ambulance] costs and recovering the costs from insurers, turning the reimbursement processes faster,” Schmiedicke said.
This trend is expected to continue. A 71-percent increase in ambulance fees is budgeted for the 2013 operational city budget.
According to a city of Madison statement, the 2013 operating budget proposed by Mayor Paul Soglin increased by 5.5 percent from last year.
Property tax was the single biggest source of funding the city will use to pay for the proposed budget. According to the proposal, property taxes on the average home will increase by $47.01 this year, a 2.2-percent increase from last year.
The recommendations regarding budget amendments by the Board of Estimates will be voted on at the City Council meeting Dec. 11.