City budget includes some freezes

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Four departments supervised by Public Works Director, Kyle Potthoff are projected to end the current fiscal year $68,701 under budget and have been proposed for the 2010-11 budget to shrink by $41,065 more.

The savings will come primarily from budgeted Capital Outlay spending freezes in the Streets, Parks, Ball Parks and Street Lights departments.

The Street Department has proposed a 2010-11 budget of $672,236, coming in $87,537 under the 2008-09 budget. $86,000 of the savings coming from $0 budgeted in the Capital Outlay section of the departments general fund. Previous years budget had $28,000 budgeted in the section for the cities portion of the sidewalk to Walmart project. At the time the project was anticipated to be partially grant funded but has since been moved entirely to a sales tax funded item, not appearing on the General Fund.

Of the remaining $86,000, $58,000 was budgeted in last year's Machinery and Equipment line item, $21,000 was for the replacement of a pickup, $7,000 for a snow plow for that pickup and $30,000 for the final payment of a four-year purchase agreement on a street sweeper.

The Street Departments salaries are proposed to come in $15,325 over the current year's budget and the department proposes to spend $3,930 less in the Total Supplies section. Other Services and Charges is budgeted for a $12,800 decrease, $11,500 of that realized from savings in the Insurance line item.

The Parks Department is proposing a decrease from prior year, coming in $19,724 less than the previous years budget.

$12,000 of that decrease also attributed to $0 budgeted in Capital Outlay. Potthoff said the previous years Capital Outlay went to a mower that was replaced, electricity work and the addition of a fountain at Barnett Park.

While the Parks Supplies category is proposing a $300 decrease versus the 2009-10 budget, it is still a $8,600 increase from its projected current year end actuals.

The Other Services and Charges section of the Parks budget is proposing a $2,840 increase, electricity rates being the driving force behind the increase, budgeted to be up $5,500. Insurance is budgeted to be down $2,660, with Potthoff attributing the savings to city administration's hiring of Hays Companies, on a commission from savings realized basis, as a medical insurance consultant.

The Parks Department is requesting $59,000 to be funded from Sales Tax for Capital Outlay Improvements. $28,000 of the funds will be used at Elks Park for new play equipment and to replace the fence. $16,000 will be used at Kelley Park to replace shelter roofs and for a retaining wall project near the pool area. The remaining $15,000 is proposed to be used for the development of a dog park on East 11th.

The Ball Parks Department is proposing a $9,105 decrease from prior years budget, with a $11,299 savings by not setting aside $14,299 on the Machinery and Equipment line item as it had done in the previous budget and instead slimming its Capital Outlay section to a proposed $3,000 to be used for mound clay and a mound tarp at Felling Field. Salaries are budgeted to increase by $1,263 and the Total Supplies category to increase by $4,200.

The supplies increase was attributed by Potthoff to concrete and gravel needed to fill in some terraces and walkways as well as to accommodate an increased interest in memorial benches.

The Street Lights Department is proposing a $117,500 budget, a $6,600 increase from prior year attributed to an increase in electricity rates.

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