Almost two decades ago, the finances of the town of Wetumpka were different than they are today.
Mayor Jerry Willis had just served on city council 14 years ago and city leaders were wondering how to improve Wetumpka.
“When I took office, we owed $13 million and had no plan,” Willis said at last week’s board meeting. “Now it’s a little different. We see ourselves improving over the next few years with more things to come and our revenue should increase.
Financially, things are good enough that the city is committing to spending $14 million over the next four years on 15 different projects without borrowing money or going to the bond market. It’s a position Willis said leaders want to be in.
“When we came in, we started looking at how we could self-fund what we’re doing,” Willis said. “We wanted to get to a point where we don’t have to go back, we don’t have to go into the bond market. We’re probably closer to that than we’ve ever been. We are working on a plan that will carry us for about four years.
Willis said the projects are a new fire station on the west side of town, a partnership with Elmore County and schools for the football complex at Hohenberg Field, a new senior center, upgrades to the Martin Luther King Center, airport upgrades, sports complex, two downtown public restrooms, and regular street paving.
The city already has $9.5 million in funding.
“It kind of allows us to be self-supporting,” Willis said. “We can use our own money. The funding we have at that time or the estimated finances will arrive during this time. »
The plan is not based on increased revenue or reserves. It requires about $3 million from the city’s general fund and would leave about $3 million in the city’s restricted accounts at the end of the four-year plan.
In another action, Wetumpka City Council:
• Approved minutes of April 18 and April 22 meetings.
• Approved the purchase of six sets of participation coats and pants for the Wetumpka Fire Department.
• Recognition of employees of the Public Works Department through the proclamation of National Public Works Week.
• Permission granted to the Elmore County Civic Improvement League to hold a June 18 celebration at Gold Star Park.
The next Wetumpka Town Council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23.