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City sets public hearing for feedback on budget
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A public hearing to listen to comments on the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 has been set for this Tuesday, July 23, at 6:50 p.m. at City Hall, just prior to a final reading before the board.
The budget includes an additional $203,000 for full-time employees, and nonprofit donations totaling $204,131.
In other notable funding issues, Smokin’ in McMinnville funds were reduced to $4,500, Pistole Park soccer field upgrades received $35,000, and $30,000 was removed that had been set aside to hire a company to make the city a new website.
A salary adjustment for full-time employees gives each $1,400. By city records, there are 145 full-time employees, totaling $203,000. The increase is not a cost-of-living increase.
Donations include Rescue Squad $6,053, Magness Library $65,000, Chamber of Commerce $40,000, Industrial Development Board $20,000, Sister Cities $5,000, Main Street McMinnville $35,000, BRAC $7,000, Senior Citizens Center $10,000, Families in Crisis $5,000, and $11,078 in dues and assessments.
Smokin’ in McMinnville was cut by $7,500, going from $12,000 to $4,500, and the website funds were cut to give more money to nonprofit organizations. Finance Committee chairman Ken Smith suggested those changes to keep increases revenue neutral.
“Let’s run the city like you would your own household,” Smith said, in making the suggestion. “If we are going to give some additional money, let’s cut something. Let’s find the money within the budget.”
Warren County Youth Soccer Association requested $200,000 for upgrades to Pistole Park, the soccer complex. The money was removed during preliminary evaluation of the budget, with $20,000 being added later.
The budget’s projected cash balance on June 30, 2014 is approximately $3.7 million. Alderman Billy Wood says he is not happy with what he feels like is “hoarding” by the board.
“I don’t see how elected officials could hoard taxpayers money, refuse to reduce the tax rate, stop badly needed street paving to turn street lights back on, and refuse to give money to organizations that help our citizens,” said Wood. “Government should be by the people and for the people. Apparently, that has changed and I didn’t get the memo.”
Budgets must pass the board twice. The first read passed July 9.