City budget discussion continues 5.06

Written by David Green.

Negotiations are continuing this week at city hall in preparations for the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, but come Friday afternoon, the document will be ready for public inspection.

Committee meetings are scheduled this week to work out the final details, said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder, as council members continue to divide the funds up for spending.

There’s a slight decline in state revenue sharing, Schroeder said, and the city will lose $24,000 in rent payments from the closing of TNG Technologies. On the other hand, the city’s industrial park is now paid, and that will save $56,000 annually.

Council is proposing a three percent increase for hourly employees, four percent for part-time police officers and a 25-cent boost for EMS employees. Blue Cross rates increased about 12 percent in January to add to employee costs.

The DPW is hoping to pave the city’s short portion of Weston Road ($8,500) and the west portion of Whitney Avenue ($18,500) and the city’s east parking across from city hall ($65,000).

A new backhoe is also on the department’s wish list ($90,000) to replace a 1991 model, along with a sewer camera ($9,000).

The police would like to replace a patrol car at a cost of $16,000 for each of the next two years. There’s also a proposal to add a crossing guard at Locust and Page streets.

Fire department has plans to buy several items in the next year, including pagers ($2,000) and four sets of turn-out gear ($10,000).

About $40,000 is proposed for building and grounds, but Schroeder isn’t sure if all of those needs will be addressed in the next budget. Requests include a new furnace for city hall; exterior painting at city hall and the library; and caulking at the library.

A hearing for proposed budget is scheduled at the council meeting Monday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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