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A public hearing was held for the Wildwood 2022 budget at the City Council meeting on Nov. 8.

City Administrator Steve Cross discussed the various funds, beginning with the General Fund. The total operating revenue in the general fund for 2022 is projected to be $11.4 million, with the largest component of that being sales tax revenue. 

The city shares in St. Louis County’s 1% sales tax distribution model, colloquially known as the “tax pool.” Under this model, Wildwood collects a 1% sales tax which is pooled with the sales tax of other “pool cities.” That revenue is then split amongst the municipalities based on population. The tax pooling allows unincorporated St. Louis County and cities without significant retail to receive taxes that may be paid by their residents in other communities. 

Slightly under 50% of revenue is generated from sales taxes, followed by utility and public safety taxes, Cross said. Corresponding expenditures are estimated to be $11.36 million.

Most of the expenditures have to do with city contracts, with the largest being for police services at $5.1 million (45% of the total operating expenditures).

Public works expenditures are $2.03 million and are used for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“Revenues slightly exceed expenditures (by $25,817),” Cross said. “We’re very proud of that. We’ve done that each and every year.”

The unreserved general fund balance will be $13.1 million.

Cross also presented the Capital Improvement, Road/Bridge and ARPA (American Rescue Plan Spending) funds.

While the city has received half of the $7.15 million in ARPA funds designated for Wildwood, it is scheduled to receive the other half in September 2022, Cross said. Approximately $3 million has already been earmarked to expand internet service to unserved and underserved areas of the city.

“The city is very well-funded in terms of revenue,” Cross said. “We just need to make sure we right-size expenditures to equal revenues taken in and don't spend money we don't have.”

At the public hearing, Dan Rowton, a trustee of Brentmoor Place, presented two budgetary requests. He said there were 69 trees that needed replanting as part of the emerald ash borer replacement program. Thirteen were scheduled to be replaced this year but that leaves 56 trees for next year, he said.

Rowton also wanted to know when the slabs in the subdivision would be replaced, as part of the sidewalk maintenance program.

Rick Brown, public works director, said he plans to do an analysis of the tree and sidewalk conditions at Brentmoor and bring it to the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 13.