Brownwood City Council members got their first look Tuesday at the impact cell development in the landfill will have on the city’s budget: $910,000 a year over the next five years.
That’s an increase of $510,000 annually over the amount that’s currently budgeted for cell development — $400,000 a year, City Finance Director Walter Middleton told council members in a preliminary budget workshop for fiscal year 2008-’09.
Middleton and City Engineer Don Hatcher gave a broad presentation on seven factors that will impact the new budget: drainage, downtown handicapped ramps, street improvements, water bond payments, fuel cost increases, and the anticipated increase in revenue from increased property values, and the largest item — the development of two cells for future use.
Drainage, street improvements and handicapped ramps are items that could be addressed in a bond election, city officials have said.
Middleton and council referred to “sticker shock” as they discussed the costs of the landfill, and Councilman Dave Fair asked if the city needs to consider selling it.
The last landfill cell completed, Cell 10, was finished in July 2006 at a cost of just over $3 million, Middleton said in his presentation. Cell 11 will be needed sooner than originally anticipated, and the cost will be greater than anticipated, Middleton said.
He said the cell will be needed sooner than anticipated because not all of Cell 10 will be accessible until Cell 11 is completed.
Middleton presented a timetable in which work would begin on Cell 11 in October 2008, and last a year. The cell’s estimated cost is $4.26 million - an increase of 40 percent over Cell 10.
Middleton presented the following “assumptions”:
• Cell 11 will open in October 2009.
• While Cell 11 is being used, additional capacity in Cell 10 will become available.
• Excavation of Cell 12 will begin in October 2010. The cell will be needed beginning in September 2013 and will have an estimated useful life of four years.
• Annual budget set aside for debt service and cell excavation will be from October 2008 to September 2013.
• Currently, the budget is $400,000 a year.
• The annual amount needed over the next five years for Cells 11 and 12 — $910,000.
Middleton also said city staff will prose increases in the landfill gate rate, sanitation rates and water base rates in the new budget.
Any increases in the water base rate would go toward water bond payments, and sanitation and landfill rate increases would go toward cell development expenses, Middleton said.
Middleton did not project the city’s anticipated fuel cost for the new fiscal year, but said this year’s fuel cost is expected to exceed last year’s by $158,116. It is also projected that fuel costs will be nearly $93,000 over budget when the current fiscal year ends, Middleton said