The Department of Public Works budget for the next fiscal year shows a slight decrease.
The DPW FY15 operating budget excluding the water department budget shows a .09 percent decrease. It totals just over $4 million.
Most of the budgets that make up the DPW show decreases due mainly to accurate budgeting of items such as utility costs in newer buildings, said DPW director Peter Buttkus.
Salary increases in the various budgets are modest and range from zero to three percent.
“Any salary changes are based on collective bargain- ing, merit reviews or reclassifications by the personnel board,” said Buttkus.
The only example of a large increase in payroll is for the animal control officer. His salary line item shows a 23.94 percent hike, but that is due to his position being reclassified in the personnel plan to a higher paying job and because of merit increases, said Buttkus.
Most of the expense line items show reductions, Butt- kus said. For example, the central building expense budget will decrease 2.53 percent because “energy costs are down slightly,” said Buttkus. The same is true for expenses at the Tarkiln Community Center which shows an 11.15 percent decrease in expenses.
However, energy costs have risen at places like the crematory. That expense budget is 13.33 percent higher, mainly due to the cost of natural gas and electricity. Yet, the crematory has performed 360 cremations over the past three years, according to Buttkus. The crematory brings in ap- proximately $800,000 in revenue annually.
“If you build it, they will come,” he quipped.
The water enterprise budget, which is separate from the DPW budget and funded by water rates, totals $1.68 million, a .54 percent increase.
The total DPW budget including the water budget equals $5.698, a .10 percent increase.
Finance Director John Madden praised Buttkus for keeping the DPW budget in line.
“He does a great job and he really knows how to stretch a dollar,” said Madden.