Friday, August 27, 2004

Hailey certifies $10.8m budget

Express Staff Writer

With final amendments made to certain line items, the Hailey City Council unanimously approved a $10.8 million budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. City Councilman Don Keirn was absent.

The overall budget, approved Monday, Aug. 23, is 9 percent higher than the current budget, but overall most department budgets have remained relatively stabile with few capital or line shifts. There are some changes identified in the budget, however, including funding for development of the proposed Central Woodside Park and a new park maintenance position.

Some funds have been shifted between departments. Funds for a planning department position were reserved for a new executive department assistant.

The general fund portion of the budget jumped from a two percent decrease during the budget review process this summer to a six percent increase due in part to recent payment of in lieu park fees totaling some $380,000 paid by developers of several subdivisions and planned unit developments.

Groundwork for the Central Woodside Park project has been put out to bid and the city expects to begin work by autumn. The parks and recreation de-partment budget is $465,400, up from $118,000 last year.

Reductions in some areas of the budget made room for a $452,000 capital improvement line item that will be designated for acquiring new city property that could be used for transportation, fire and water storage infrastructure.

Water and sewer budgets account for nearly $6 million of the budget. The funds are gathered from user fees set by city ordinance.

Other changes identified by the approved budget to defray the expenses and liabilities of the City of Hailey include a six percent decrease in the fire department budget because half of a $98,000 Fire Department Homeland Security Grant will be used in the following year.

In August, the city paid off the 1993 street refunding bond, which last year cost the city $153,000. The remainder of a parallel 1993 GO Library bond has been refinanced and this year?s final payment will be $208,000. Last year the payment was $75,600.

The police department budget is the largest at $1 million with the street department budget running a close second at $917,000.

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