Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2006

City officials closing in on 2007 budget

July 13, 2006

As the budget nears completion, the Basehor City Council and City Administrator Carl Slaugh have been working out a few kinks.

During a work session Monday evening, Slaugh clarified parts of the working budget and took questions from council members.

"We're a little bit closer to having things refined as far as a balanced budget," Slaugh said.

The projected revenue for 2007 is $5.22 million. The mill levy is expected to hold constant around 28 mills. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The large increase in projected revenue from the 2006 revenue of $2.46 million is largely due to the increase in property value. During Thursday night's city council meeting, Slaugh said that according to the latest information received from the county on July 1, the property value in Basehor increased 23.7 percent from Nov. 1, 2004, to Nov. 1, 2005, because of growth in the city.

"I'm really proud of that," Bill Hooker, council member said Thursday evening.

However, Slaugh said the projections on revenue are conservative and there is about a $120,000 difference between expenditure and revenue.

"We still need to make some cuts in expenditures," Slaugh said.

Police Chief Terry Horner also spoke to the council about a request to include funds in the budget for another full-time officer and three replacement vehicles.

"As the city continues to grow, I think we should stay ahead of the curve," Horner said.

The council agreed that the budget was adequate enough to hire another officer in the future and will consider a formal approval at a later date. They also agreed to replace each of the three police cruisers during the next three years starting this year.

The council also discussed the lack of funds in the sewer maintenance reserve fund. Last year, the fund stood at $178,350. The same amount is projected for 2007, but council members fear the amount may not be enough to cover everything.

"It doesn't make any sense to let it sit there and fester and become a huge problem -- that's bad planning," John Bonee, council president, said.

Council member Terry Thomas pointed out that while the sanitary sewer system is a top priorities right now, only 14 percent of the budget is going toward the sewer, while only 3 percent is dedicated to the sewer maintenance reserve fund.

"This is one of our biggest responsibilities and we've got nothing going into it," Thomas said. "If we know a problem exists, we need to factor in some sort of cost."

"We've starved this account for too long," Bonee said.

The formal budget review by the council will be at the next regular meeting, on Monday, July 17. A date, which will most likely be Aug. 7, will also be set for a public hearing on the budget.

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