City Council approves 2010 budget

December 3, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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NEW — 1:20 p.m. Dec. 3, 2009

The City Council approved the 2010 budget with a 4-2 vote Dec. 1.

In the budget, Director of Finance Christine Olson forecasts $6.21 million in general fund operating expenses and $5.85 million in general fund revenue. To account for this difference, the city will draw about $364,000 from its ending fund balance, bringing the ending fund balance to about $1.5 million.

Councilman Sonny Putter, Councilwoman Lisa Jensen, Deputy Mayor Daniel Hubbell and Mayor Ben Varon voted in favor of the budget, while Councilman Steve Buri and Councilwoman Carol Simpson voted against it. Councilwoman Jean Garber was sick and missed the vote.

The city also has $1.5 million in its cumulative reserve fund that may be used with unanimous City Council approval. The City Council has not discussed using these funds.

Buri voiced concerns about the amount of money to be drawn from the ending fund balance, and Simpson voiced concerns about the funds allotted to studies for a new city hall.

The council members who voted in favor of the budget said the budget was not perfect, but reflected a good compromise.

“Although it’s not perfect, it’s at a very good place,” Hubbell said.

At the public hearing before the adoption of the budget, Councilman-elect Rich Crispo voiced dissatisfaction with the budget although he did not speak against its adoption.

“You’re not proving to the people in this community that you’re spending money wisely,” Crispo said. “You’re just not.”
Former City Councilman Gordon Bisset spoke against adopting the budget, saying the city would draw too much from its ending fund balance.

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