Police, fire and parks will be top priorities for the Town of Atoka in the coming budget year, town administrator Brian Koral announced Tuesday.
The proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes nearly $700,00 in planned capital purchases, the largest being related to the improvement of the town's fire service and the delivery of a new fire engine.
The budget also provides for the hiring of new firefighters and two new full-time police officers in addition to a parks and recreation coordinator.
"As the community continues to grow, the expectations of our citizens to provide quality municipal services has necessitated the new positions proposed in this budget," Koral said. "Staffing levels in all departments will require ongoing review from staff and the board as we move forward in delivering the services that our residents want and expect."
The fire and police department budgets account for 28.4 and 30.6 percent of the budget, respectively.
The town has allocated $1.37 million for the fire department alone – a significant increase over the $450,000 spent in FY2014 – funded, in part, by the increase in sales tax collections as implemented last year in both Munford and Atoka.
Of that, $725,000 is earmarked for travel, meetings, training and education and $530,000 listed under capital outlay.
The police department's $1.4 million budget includes $826,297 in salaries – the projected year-end for FY2014 is $745,320.
Additionally, all municipal employees should see a three percent raise across the board and, after the November elections, aldermen and members of the planning commission will see their compensation per meeting double to $200 and $100 per meeting, respectively.
Total expenditures for FY2015 are projected to be $7 million, Koral reported.
While the fire tax has generated nearly $240,000 for the fire service and the residential tax collection program is providing additional revenue for the town, Atoka will see a 25 percent decline in liquor tax collection.
Revenues are projected to hit $6.6 million, Koral said. The town will see $3.2 million in local and state tax collection, $923,700 in intergovernmental transfers, $2.2 million in utility collections, $23,000 in revenue from licenses and permits and $304,000 in other revenues, such as parks and recreation operations and court fines.
The budget passed on its first reading.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1 at 7 p.m.
To view the budget in detail, see townofatoka.com.