Phenix City is on the up and up. Mayor Eddie Lowe and council members will receive a $44.5 million budget to work with for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
That’s an increase of $5,102,553 or about a 13 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. At the end of the year, the City projects to end the 2020 fiscal year with an $842,748 balance of revenues over expenditures.
The meeting started out with prayer and a few words from Mayor Eddie Lowe. Then they got right down to business.
City manager Wallace Hunter handed off to assistant city manager Stephen Smith who discussed what the budget entailed for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. He discussed how the money is divided between different departments and how they have increased the budget over the last 10 years.
Mayor Lowe along with the council members said they can feel their city growing.
“We have so many opportunities where people are wanting to come to build and part of the reason why we’ve been able to increase. We believe that as a community and as a city that everyone needs to be included and part of the reason why the growth has come is because we’ve engaged every district which is important to us when you do the inclusion which is something we’ve pushed, Then you can see the result of having a larger budget to be able to generate income to give back to our communities so people can have a quality of life,” Lowe said.
Smith agreed with the Mayor saying the city has never looked better.
“That new growth, like I said in the meeting, we had 459 manufacturing and industrial jobs in phenix city, we’ve got 219 more. We’ve got over 300 health worker new jobs in phenix city, those are good-paying jobs with benefits that people can raise a family on and that’s reflected in the fact that our sales tax is up 7.8 percent. Its, because our citizens are more prosperous because of the work we’ve been able to do and that really who we’re here for, is our citizens is to help them be prosperous and raise their families,” Smith nodded.
City employees will receive a 2% cost of living adjustment in October 2019 and an additional 1% cost of living adjustment in 2020.
Smith praised the city and his teammates, as he calls them, for being able to partner well with industry and with the citizens and commercial development to make things happen.
He says there are more than 50 acres of new retail development under construction right now that includes four new restaurants, two new grocery stores, and two more hotels are in process.
Capital improvement plans for the City include several ongoing improvements, which include multiple street improvement projects and replacing bridges on Cutrate Road, Opelika road and Seale Road.
The City expects to complete more than $16 million in major capital improvements with the City’s General Fund Capital Improvements Budgets, in addition to more than $2 million in state grants for roads and bridge improvements as part of its ongoing capital improvements program.
The council says its because people actually want to be in Phenix City.
The Phenix City Clerk’s Office (601 12th Street) has the notes and copies from the meeting if you would like to see them.