Salem Mayor Gary Clayton said that the city is starting the year with $170,000, which is $55,000 more than the city started with in 2005.
Clayton said one of the reasons is that the property taxes which were collected for the city are $35,000 more than in the previous year. He said he thinks this is because the county tax collector's office finished its filing earlier in the year and there might not be similar results next year.
Clayton said he's projecting $450,000 in revenue for the city this year.
Expenditures for the year include a 4-percent increase in the salaries of all city employees. There is also a plan to raise pay for the city's volunteer firemen $5 more for every fire call they answer, which would raise their pay to $25. The $5 raise also applies to rescue and HAZMAT teams.
"We need to make sure we don't let it get out of hand," Clayton said regarding spending.
Fuel was a major concern, with every department in the city going over on its gas budget, largely because of the price hikes in 2005 brought on by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.
The recent cleanup ordinance, which will be put into effect, has already started getting results, Clayton said. Residents are starting to clean up in advance, he added.
The city accepted a bid from Hughes, Welch and Milligan handle the 2005 city audit. The amount is not to exceed $8,750. The auditing firm is based in Batesville and Salem. It has done the audit for the city for the last several years, Clayton said.
The paperwork for a grant that would cover the costs of replacing the bulbs in the stoplights in town is now at City Hall.
Clayton said the grant would cover 100 percent of the change from the incandescent bulbs the city uses now to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. An LED bulb would have to be changed only once every seven years; city workers are currently sent to replace one of the incandescent bulb up to three times a month.
A new accounting system for the city is now online. It is currently on its trial run.