Friday, June 30, 2006

Hailey budget meetings scheduled

July 17 special workshop slated

Express Staff Writer

Hailey officials began gearing up for 2006-2007 budget-setting process during a City Council meeting Monday, when they went over preliminary figures for the city's proposed $10 million budget, which is about $400,000 less than last year.

The budget actually represents an increase in revenues, however, Hailey City Clerk Heather Dawson said Tuesday. Last year's budget included $2.2 million for construction of a new water storage tank, and that money is not represented in this year's proposed financial blueprint.

The next meeting when Hailey's 2006-2007 budget will be discussed is a special workshop scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 17. During the workshop, one matter Hailey officials will discuss is how to allocate $100,000 in anticipated funds resulting from the local option tax Hailey voters approved May 23, Dawson said.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the workshop.

"The mayor and council would like public input," she said.

Requests for LOT funds have already come in from a variety of sources, she said.

These LOT requests, which the Hailey City Council will discuss and city residents will be invited to comment on during the July 17 workshop, include:

· A $20,000 request by the Hailey Chamber of Commerce to pay for economic and community development.

· A $15,000 request by the Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority.

· A request for $6,000 for the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO), to which the city of Hailey is a member.

· An as-yet-to-be-determined request by the recently combined PEAK/KART bus system.

· A $2,500 request by a group of Hailey citizens to fund and expand a downtown beautification project.

· $85,000 to pay for the replacement of the awnings on Hailey City Hall.

· $5,500 to pay for administrative costs of the LOT.

Subsequent budget-setting discussions will also take place during Hailey City Council meetings on Aug. 14 and Aug. 28.

At the Aug. 14 meeting, the City Council will likely adopt a tentative budget, Dawson said. Under state law, cities cannot exceed these tentative budgets once they've been set.

During the Aug. 28 meeting, the council will likely adopt a finalized appropriations ordinance setting Hailey's budget for the 2006-2007 fiscal year, Dawson said.

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