Friday, May 17, 2013

City Council 5/15/13 - Budget Discussions

Almost the entire City Council meeting was a discussion of the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget. The council has until June 22 to pass a budget and was given a proposed budget by administration at the beginning of May. At each meeting they study specific departments or areas in the budget and decide what they want to keep the same or change.

Prior to the budget discussion, Janice Auger Rasmussen gave a report from the Ad-Hoc Fire District Committee. The committee will be giving information in the near future with an assessment of the upcoming referendum vote on whether or not to join the Fire District. They had two items that they felt warranted immediate attention. First, they fear that surrounding cities are "jumping' medical calls. That means that a nearby fire department may hear that the there is a medical call, especially a patient transport, and then respond before our UFA medics. The second issue is whether or not firefighters and fire apparatus have to go on every call and if there is a more cost-effective way to do this.

During the budget discussion, there are some changes being considered by the city council in an effort to reduce costs. They are as follows:

The council is looking into moving their City Council coordinator position from full time to part time.

They removed a position for a "Mayor's Assistant" and reduced the mayor's budget for books and subscriptions.

They removed a Homeless program line item for $20K, and felt this was a regional issue that should not be handled on the city level.

The city council did not change the proposal for employee benefits. They also kept the same funding for all the citizen committees.

There were no citizen comments made about the budget when the council opened up the meeting to the public.

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