Alice Campbell Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite the nationwide recession and an apparent shortfall in the general fund cash from the last fiscal year, City Clerk Lowell Swenson said he didn't anticipate a drastically lower budget for next year, pointing out that taxes collected constitute a large part of the city's budget and that thre taxes shouldn't change much. The city is "limited to begin with for revenue sources and taxes are a big portion of that," he said. The city budget won't be finalized until the middle of October at the latest, but work has begun to figure out where money will be appropriated. "Right now we're in the process of totaling up the (department) requests and seeing where we're at to start with," Swenson said. He's busy closing out June's books to see where the budget stands with cash and the anticipated revenue. Then he'll total the five city departments' fire, police, public works, parks and recreation, and finance requests and see how everything fits together. Already, he knows that the general fund the largest fund the city has out of five is down $94,000 in cash from last year, an amount he said will have to be found to start the budget at the same point it started the previous year. The city's other funds include the comprehensive insurance fund, the library fund, the permissive medical levy fund and the ambulance fund. Last year, the city budgeted $12,107,067 in total, including grant money. Because there are no new major revenue sources, the $94,000 will have to come from a combination of cuts in appropriations and finding extra money elsewhere, Swenson said. The numbers have not been reviewed for the other four departments, though, Swenson said and added that the state of the general fund is not necessarily indicative of the other Funds. After the new appraisal figures, completed last year, come in from the state at some point in August, Swenson said, the city has 45 days to finalize a budget. He added that he didn't know how the appraisals would affect the taxes collected. The city is considering annexing numerous properties on the outskirts of the city, but if the land is annexed, it will not be taxed by the city until 2010, Swenson said.