Monday, July 11, 2016

Committee of the Whole Discusses Annual Budget

Baldwin City, KS - On July 11, 2016 the Baldwin City Council and it's staff meet as the Committee of the Whole to discuss the budget for the upcoming year.  Only approximately $979,000 of the 2017 budget comes from property taxes.  The rest of the projected incomes to cover the nearly two million dollar budget comes from sales tax, utility franchise fees and other sources. 
According to Brad Smith, City Administrator, the assessed valuation of property in the city is up 2.8%, which is about $25,000.
Discussion at the meeting included ways to cut overtime,especially in the police department which is currently shorthanded for various reasons.  Chief Greg Neis said, that a new officer with no experience, that would need to go to the academy would start at $17 an hour.  Neis admitted that a new officer wouldn't eliminate all overtime, but would significantly reduce the amount of overtime. 
Steve Friend, Baldwin City Recreation Commission, discussed the proposed Rec Center and the possibility of a half cent sales tax to help pay for it.  Friend commented, that if it became a reality, any sales tax would have to be put before the voters, perhaps a special election in February. 

However, because this is a work session, no decision was made about anything discussed at the meeting.  All official budget decisions will be made during a regular city council meeting. The next regular council meeting will be July 20. 
Before adjourning, Smith was asked about the water contract negotiations with Wellsville.  Smith said that he was cautiously optimistic that the two communities were very close to an agreement. 

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