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City Finance Director Amy Fealko announced to the September 9 meeting of the Finance Team that she would be asking the council to amend the 2015-2016 City Budget Ordinance for some items not budgeted when it was adopted

According to a report to the full council on September 15 by Finance Team Chairman/Councilman Jim Bockelman, the new restrooms were not budgeted and the $30,000 for Island Park Bridge engineering came out of Contingency funds. The budget changes will amount to $86,830 in the General Fund and a change of $30,000 in the Streets and Alleys Fund.

In order for the amended ordinance to go into effect before the September 30th end of this fiscal year, a Public Hearing was required for the amendments to be introduced then, later in the meeting passed with one reading by way of a three reading rule suspension. That all took place at the September 16 City Council meeting.

The $116,830 budget amendment also included $12,000 for a police vehicle, $52,000 for the City Park restroom, $12,000 to pay extra expenses not covered by Urban Renewal for the Town Square Park restroom and $10,830 for City Hall well maintenance.

Bockelman said that during the Finance Team meeting the higher than expected Island Park Bridge bids were discussed in terms of where the additional funds might be found. Fealko was preparing a full report for the September 15 meeting. A shared cost between the city and property owners for sidewalk repairs has been discussed in the past but Bockelman said with the bridge funding crunch, contingency monies will not be an option for a while. He said additional sidewalk work aside from the Main Street project may not happen for some time.

Another idea put on hold was acquiring the services of a landscape/gardener for city park properties. With the unexpected budget crunch the team felt even though the horticulturist idea has merit it probably canít be addressed until the next budget process.

Bockelman said that during the teamís Roundtable Discussion even though the city has been doing a good job of holding the line on tax increases, the possible need for an increase in taxes was discussed.

Regarding a statement made at the cityís last meeting by City Attorney Fred Snook regarding the city buying the Library Building for resale, Bockelman said the Finance Team felt the city is not in the business of land speculation and should not pursue that option.

The next Finance Team Meeting will be October 14 at 11AM in the City Hall Meeting Room. All team meetings are open to the public.

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