Council Chips Away At Shortfall

A $400,000 Disparity Exists In Proposed 1993 Spending Plan

April 22, 1992|By Brian Sullam | Brian Sullam,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Members of the City Council worked Tuesday night to reduce a $400,000 difference between expected revenue and projected expenditures.

As proposed, the fiscal 1993 budget calls for spending about $6.7 million for the city's operating and capital improvement budget, including $1.1 million carried over from last year for construction of a newpolice headquarters.

Assuming the current tax rate of 83 cents per $100 of assessed value, there will be a shortfall.

"This is a common procedure at this stage of the budget process," said Finance Director Stephen V. Dutterer.

He said the staff of the finance department had been able tomake most of the budget decisions, but there were a number of issuesthat they felt should be "made by the big boys."

The council and mayor reviewed each city department's operating and capital improvement budgets, cutting certain projects and moving money from one project to another.

Council members, who showed no interest in balancingthe budget by raising taxes or fees, focused their energies on reducing the city's capital expenditures for next year.

Among those projects initially deferred were an $18,000 microfiche system for the city police department, a $75,000 portable stage for the recreation department, a $5,000 gazebo at a park on Uniontown Road, and several hundred thousand dollars to renovate City Hall to meet the requirements of the newly enacted Americans with Disabilities Act.

Most of the city departments have payroll and operating budgets similar to their budgets for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

The generalfund expenses for this year are expected to be about $5.4 million, just more than the $5.1 million general fund budget for the current fiscal year.

The Police Department had the largest increase in its budget -- primarily because of the $1.2 million for the construction of a new police headquarters in the former Westminster Auto Parts store.

Dutterer said a balanced budget will be presented to the council at its meeting on Monday.

At that time the public will be able to obtain copies of the budget.

The council has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the budget for May 4 at East Middle School.

On May 11, the council will consider the budget along with the ordinance setting the city's tax rate, said Dutterer.

By law, the city must have the next year's fiscal budget in place by June 1. The fiscal year begins July 1.

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