Keokuk’s budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012 attempts to get the city back on track when it comes to equipment and infrastructure.
The city council has approved the roughly $29-million spending plan after working on it for several months and holding multiple Saturday workshops.
The numbers show that most departmental budgets will be at or just slightly above their level in the current city budget.
Mayor Tom Marion says holding down spending was one goal for the new budget.
The Keokuk School Board must make some serious cuts to next year’s budget.
Superintendent Lora Wolff says the district will actually lose roughly $550,000 in state aid because of its declining enrollment.
She says dwindling revenues and increasing expenditures mean balancing the spending plan for the 2012/2013 school year will require a reduction of $1.3-million.
The district plans to use cash reserves and unspent balances to cover nearly $600,000.
The rest of the shortfall ($700,000) will have to come from budget modifications.
Fort Madison residents can weigh in on the city’s spending plan next week.
A public hearing and the initial city council vote on the $25-million spending plan are scheduled for Tuesday, February 21.
City Manager Byron Smith says the budget could be considered status quo.
“I would not say bare-bone, but it is kind of basic for what we are doing,” says Smith. “We did not propose any major staffing increases or decreases.”
Smith says money is available for employee raises and to expand nuisance enforcement.
Lee County must wait a little longer to put its proposed budget for next year on display.
The Board of Supervisors was ready to set a public hearing on the roughly $26-million spending for Tuesday, Feb. 21.
That plan changed, though, after the county received an email from the state that said its proposed property tax rate must be changed.
CPC Administrator Ryanne Wood says Lee County brings in tax revenue to help pay for day-to-day services for those with mental health or other developmental disabilities.
The Keokuk City Council will play “catch-up” when it comes to some capital projects.
Mayor Tom Marion says the city could not afford to purchase new vehicles or replace some heavy equipment in the current budget.
He says that will not be repeated in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Marion says the age and condition of Keokuk’s vehicle fleet dictate spending nearly $2-million.
He says the city will try to obtain credit from local banks to pay for the capital expenses.