The Wildwood City Council has approved the city’s 2022 municipal budget and 5-year Capital Improvement Plan.
Planned expenditures total $21.5 million and are fully funded from a combination of revenues conservatively anticipated to be received during the fiscal year totaling $20.8 million, plus available fund balances projected to total $31.2 million, for a projected grand total of funds available during 2022 of just over $52 million, said City Administrator Steve Cross.
The city is highly reliant on sales tax revenue to fund annual operating expenses, Cross said. It receives a prorated share of a 1% sales tax that is collected and disbursed throughout the municipalities of St. Louis County.
It also receives a 5% gross receipts tax from utility providers. However, he noted that the telephone utility gross receipts tax has been declining over the past few years, due to consumers using other methods of communication, such as texting and VoIP services, which are currently not taxed.
By far, the largest component of the city’s operating expense budget is contractual services, one for police services, provided by St. Louis County, and the other for public works maintenance, provided by independent contractors, Cross said. The second-largest component of the city’s operating expense budget is its personnel expense.
The General Fund is budgeted to have a $16.9 million positive fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2022, of which $2.8 million (25% of General Fund budgeted expenditures) is allocated as an Operating Contingency and $935,159 is allocated as a Prop P Public Safety Reserve, leaving $13.1 million as Unreserved General Fund Balance, he said.
As a result of outsourcing, personnel costs of salaries and employee benefits represent only 28.8% of overall Operating Expenses budgeted for 2022 with 26 full-time and one part-time employee.
In addition, the council approved the police service agreement with St. Louis County.