Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ketchum approves $9.2 million budget

Express Staff Writer

A $9.2 million budget met no debate during a public hearing Monday, and was later unanimously approved by the Ketchum City Council.

"The budget outlines our programs and services for the next year," City Administrator Ron LeBlanc said at the Aug. 21 meeting. "The City Council spent considerable hours reviewing the budget. (This) is the result of all those discussions."

The budget adds two employees to the Streets Department, plus a clerical person for the city administrator.

The total appropriation for the general fund is $9,260,333. The amount set aside for the water and wastewater budget is $6,210,395.

The budget would have been higher, but 10 percent of four city staff members' salaries were transferred to the Urban Renewal Agency budget because they will spend part of their time working with the URA.

Among the budget allocations are $1.5 million, or a 1 percent increase, for the Police Department; $1.4 million, or an 18 percent increase, for the Streets Department, $652,000, or a 13 percent increase, for Parks & Recreation; $808,000, or a .04 percent decrease, for the Fire Department, $252,000, or a 4 percent increase, for the Building Department; and $593,000, or a 12.5 percent increase, for the Planning Department.

The Fire Department will pay the $25,000 cost of a study that will look at consolidation with the Sun Valley Fire Department.

The council waived the three-reading rule, which requires three public readings of new ordinances, and adopted the budget that night.

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