Council To Use Reserves to Help Balance General Fund

Posted on 21 January 2014 by KWBG

BOONE, Iowa—The Boone City Council has agreed to use some one-time money to help off set the current budget short fall in the General Fund portion of the City’s budget.  The General Fund includes Public Safety, Parks, Library, Administration and Airport.  Boone Mayor John Slight says the projected short fall in the General Fund is a combination of issues.  Taxable growth and valuations did not keep pace with the cost of living adjustments that occurred naturally within those departments.  Some of the adjustments considered by the Council were a suggested cut in the Administration budget that apparently affects a position.  The savings were estimated at some $12,000.  The Library budget proposed a reduction of $10,000.  The Council voted to use up to $50,000 of General Fund reserves.  Slight said on Tuned In on KWBG he feels confident that other departments will be able to find to balance of the cuts to hit the $100,000 goal.

Last week, the Council gave consideration to a wide range of suggestions to balance the General Fund portion of the budget.  Everything from salary freezes to staff reductions to such extreme options at closing the swimming pool.  Many of the suggestions were not expected to receive much consideration.  Some Council members felt cutting a stipend for cross training for the Fire Department may be considered, but that quickly led to a debate for the cross training program and whether police officers actually responded to fire calls.  Director of the Department of Public Safety, Police Chief Bill Skare said protocols are in place for responding to calls when officers are on duty.  As far as funds for the paid on call members of the Fire Department, they are only expended when those personnel respond to fire calls according to Fire Chief Justin Adams.

At this time, the specifics of how the General Fund portion of the budget will be balanced are still not known.  Slight says more work will be needed to finalize the budget.  He did say the discussion of increasing revenue through use of a franchise fee did not receive support from the Council.

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