The city of Daphne’s budget for 2024 passed during the Sept. 18 regular city council meeting. Daphne City Council voted to approve the municipal budget for the 2024 fiscal year that begins Oct. …
The city of Daphne’s budget for 2024 passed during the Sept. 18 regular city council meeting.
Daphne City Council voted to approve the municipal budget for the 2024 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The budget estimates city revenue for the upcoming year at $49.9 million.
Two amendments were proposed before voting on the final 2024 budget. Councilman Ron Scott made a motion to reallocate a $22,000 capital expenditure for a sign to be placed off Highway 181 on the south side of town.
“I would like to ask that would be taken out of the budget and in its place, I would recommend we allocate the entire $50,000 for the National Estuary Program,” Scott said.
In the original budget, only $30,000 was allocated to the National Estuary Program. The shift of funds would also leave a $2,000 surplus.
The amendment passed with one no-vote.
Councilman Benjamin Hughes proposed a second amendment to remove two funded specialist positions, a human resources specialist and a part-time media marketing specialist and move the funds to road resurfacing projects. The total amount of money in question was $121,303.
Daphne Mayor Robin LeJeune said the human resources department has a void and the removal of the position would leave a void. He also commented that a part-time media marketing specialist is needed to help within the marketing department.
“We have been having a lot of discussions on salary and payroll, and while I am not opposed to these positions in the future, I think we need to be very careful in differentiating wants and needs,” Hughes said. “I think we’ve seen the increase from 2021 to 2024 of almost $7 million in our payroll budget, and that is going to continue to go up. I think at this point we just need to hold off on that and put this to infrastructure, which we have great needs for, and revisit this at a later time.”
LeJeune stressed to the council that the two positions are a need not a want and acknowledged that the increasing payroll is not a problem that is going away.
“We have an HR person that has left the city and moved to another city next door because of the value that they hold for what we are doing in our city,” LeJeune said. “We are competing with the neighboring cities in every aspect that we have.”
The amendment proposed by Hughes failed 3-3.
After council heard and voted on the two proposed amendments, voting on the 2024 municipal budget passed unanimously.
To view the budget, visit www.daphneal.com.
One other item of note that was voted on during the council meeting was a resolution to approve an additional $100,000 for the construction of the Daphne Animal Shelter.
The $6.8 million construction project was allocated in the fiscal year 2023 budget, which was approved Sept. 19, 2022. During the site work prep, it was determined there had been some asbestos pipe.
The $100,000 in additional funds will be used for the remediation of asbestos-laden pipe, and LeJeune said it was not believed the entire $100,000 would be needed.
The resolution was adopted with a unanimous vote.