The Havre City Council tonight will take a vote on adopting a preliminary budget, then setting a public hearing on the budget and setting a date to vote on its final adoption.
City Clerk Lowell Swenson said the preliminary budget was finalized last week.
The council could vote to set the public hearing on the budget in two weeks, on Sept. 13, and in the past typically has set a vote on its adoption two days after the hearing, he said.
The preliminary budget was balanced, but the city had to deal with several factors including a temporary hold on new revenue from land Havre annexed last year, Swenson said.
After months of work preparing to annex some 100 properties into the city, the council approved the annexation in December.
While working with the Hill County government to finish transferring the properties and setting responsibilities and cooperation agreements for services such as law enforcement, firefighting and street maintenance, a group of property owners filed a lawsuit alleging that the city had not followed all requirements of state law during the process.
The lawsuit, now under mediation, has essentially put a hold on the process and city revenue from the transfer also are on hold.
A state Department of Revenue official said in June that the department will wait to change the tax codes until it receives official word from the court how to proceed.
The city works on its budget based on what cash is on hand at the close of the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30, using anticipated income and expenses as well as the amounts remaining in the city’s general funds.
Swenson said the budget has to be adopted by Sept. 16, and he expects the final vote to take place Sept. 15.
The council meeting starts tonight at 7 p.m. in City Hall in Havre.