Tuesday, November 25, 2014

City will vote on budget Tuesday

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The City of Glendive has prepared its preliminary budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The city will present the preliminary budget in a public hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this Tuesday prior to the regular city council meeting. The city council is then expected to vote on adopting the budget during the regular council meeting.

The proposed budget is for $10,322,894, an increase of nearly $300,000 over last year’s final budget, which came to $10,059,238.

The additional money for this year’s budget is primarily due to the pending construction of the city’s new wastewater treatment plant, accounting for just shy of $200,000 of the additional spending.

Another major change is the addition of another full-time police officer to the budget. If the council approves the change, the Glendive Police Department will field 10 full-time officers. Last year, the city budgeted for NINE full-time officers and one half-time officer. Adding the full-time officer will add about $25,000 to this year’s budget over last year’s.

City Finance Director Kevin Dorwart also noted the addition of $25,000 to the capital improvement fund for the downtown city parking lot, which he said will give the city a total of “$141,000 for that project.” 

Dorwart also said the city is putting more money away for street paving, which will build up that fund to a total of $340,000.

The government study commission, which voters narrowly approved in June, will add another $5,000 to the budget.

The city has also set aside $86,000 for capital improvements to the city swimming pool.

The budget for the Recreation Department will be reduced, due to the city no longer funding a gymnastics program.

Beyond that, Dorwart said there weren’t many other changes when it came to other city departments.

“We didn’t reduce any (other) department, we just didn’t bring anything more on,” he said. “There are (changes), but they’re not of substance, so to speak.”

One thing that did not make it into the preliminary budget was any funding for an ordinance officer. The city’s lack of an official to enforce city ordinances has proved a source of some controversy amongst some city residents.

“That question’s going to get asked, and I’m going to let the council answer that one,” Dorwart said on the lack of funding for an ordinance officer in this year’s budget.

The city will see a slight increase in tax revenue due to an increased value of property within the city limits. The total value of property in the city is $167,137,851 and the taxable value is $5,668,991.

Those figures were $156,426,067 and $5,532,517 for the previous year.

This year’s taxable values place the value of a single city mill at $5,668, a slight increase over last year’s mill value of $5,532.

The city plans to levy virtually the exact same number of mills as last year, with a total of 244.7 mills levies compared to last year’s total of 244.72.

That mill total includes a non-exempt mill levy total of 229.96 mills, which is nearly two full mills lower than last year and over 40 mills below the maximum amount of non-exempt mills the city is authorized to levy, which is 273.

The number of exempt mill levies in the proposed budget, which do not count against the city’s authorized mill authority, is set at 15.44 mills, up nearly two mills from last year’s total of 13.57. The increases came via the permissive medical levy and the addition of the government study commission.

 

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

 
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