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In an act of budgetary housekeeping, town of Signal Mountain officials are appropriating $115,000-plus of additional expenditures than were originally budgeted for fiscal year 2013-2014.

During its March 10 regularly scheduled town meeting, the Signal Mountain Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading to amend the town's FY 2013-2014 budget. The ordinance will be up for a vote on second reading at the April 14 regularly scheduled meeting.

Most of the line-item amendments came from unexpected costs that couldn't be planned for during last summer's budgeting process, said Town Manager Boyd Veal.

"These expenditures are already things the council has authorized," he said. "If all the other expenditures we planned for take place, we would need that much [$115,000-plus] more additional funding. This just secures [the funding] in case it's necessary."

Boyd said there are available funds in the fund balance to cover the overages.

The largest increased expenditure is from the vehicle replacement fund in the amount of $58,500. One reason for the increase is due to the fact that the budgeted cost to replace one of the town's vehicles was unrealistically low, Veal said.

"The estimated replacement cost was calculated based on the purchase of a used vehicle [that now needs to be replaced] at a very good price," he explained. "It's just not something you can count on every time."

Other estimated vehicle replacement costs were also lower than they needed to be, he added.

The vehicle replacement fund was created years ago while Honna Rogers was town manager.

"Now that we're several years in, we have some history and experience in how these things work," said Veal. "We are in no way being critical of the ones who set up this [vehicle replacement fund]. They did a really good job at getting it off the ground without that experience."

As the FY 2014-2015 budget process begins this spring, he said there will likely be adjustments in both expenditures and revenues.

Tax increases are always a possibility going into the budgeting process, Veal said, but there is no way to foresee any increases at this point.

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