Friday, August 12, 2005

Ketchum council reviews updated budget

Public hearing set for Monday

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum city staff has been tinkering with budget numbers for fiscal year 2005-2006 in anticipation of public input and approval by the City Council.

City Administrator Ron LeBlanc discussed the proposed budget and recent changes with the City Council Wednesday, Aug. 10.

The proposed figure for the city's general fund was $9,102,589. That figure was amended to $9,080,784.

"We cut some things in the general fund, mostly in the Parks Department," LeBlanc said.

Proposed changes include a reduction in casual-seasonal employees and a cut in the professional-services line item.

Those changes reduced the department's budget request by $40,000.

The city is also anticipating receiving $25,000 from the city of Sun Valley for that department.

An increase of $10,000 in the finance and city clerk budget is slated to go toward codification of city codes, which haven't been updated for over 10 years, LeBlanc said.

Building Department salaries were adjusted to represent the qualifications of the new building official, and an enhanced job description of the building inspector.

LeBlanc said $164,711 was added to this fiscal year's "fund balance," which is similar to a savings account. Of that, $120,319 will be applied to next fiscal year's budget, leaving $44,392.

Original estimates applied $252,147 to next year's budget, but an increase in revenue projections allowed the amount needed to be reduced, LeBlanc said.

Personnel expenses represent the largest expenditure component of the budget, with salaries and benefits amounting to 61 percent of the general fund.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15. The council could pass an appropriation ordinance, which would finalize the numbers.

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