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City to discuss budget
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McMinnville officials will continue discussing the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15 on Tuesday night. Close to the finish line, they are one week away from considering nonprofit donations, two weeks from recommending a tax rate and three weeks away from the board’s first review.
Finance Committee chairman Ken Smith says Tuesday night’s 6:30 p.m. meeting will be to review the budget for administration and discussing what they would like the ending fund balance for the fiscal year in June 2015.
“We are going to go over the administrative part of the budget, which is under Finance Department director Shirley Durham,” he said. “Then, we are going to decide where we want June 30, 2015’s fund balance to be. What do the three of us want?”
On the committee with Smith are Aldermen Mike Neal and Ben Newman.
Prior discussions between the aldermen have ended with them on different sides of the ending fund balance issue. Smith voiced a desire to have $5 million, which is 20 percent of the city’s yearly budget, while others believe less than that is sufficient.
 “Last year, Ben wanted $4.5 million,” said Smith. “I sent him an email but he hasn’t gotten back with me, so I don’t know what his thought process is right now. Mike has given me an idea of what he would like to see. I have an idea of what I would like to see, so we are going to discuss that.”
   There will be a Finance Committee meeting scheduled for July 29 to discuss nonprofit donations and another one scheduled for Aug. 5 to discuss a recommended tax rate, says Smith.
“The July 29 meeting should be nothing but nonprofit donations,” said Smith. “On Aug. 5, we will be discussing what the tax rate should be based on the budgets submitted to us, the nonprofit donations and what we believe the ending fund balance should be. Of course, the full board will have the final say on the budgets, nonprofit donations and tax rate. If they want to adjust it by adding some things or deleting some things, that’s up to the board.”
This year’s requests from nonprofit organizations total $330,578, an increase of $26,147 over what was given last year.
 The full board could have its first look at the proposed departmental budgets, proposed nonprofit donations and proposed tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year on Aug. 12. Budgets require two passing votes before the board.