The Hailey City Council on Monday night adopted a $10,010,000 budget for fiscal year 2009-10, a 13 percent drop in spending from last year.
Mayor Rick Davis thanked his staff for responding to tough economic times by producing a "bare bones" budget.
"This will allow us to stay afloat," Davis said.
The budget shows a 3 percent cut in general fund expenses, based on a 3 percent drop in general fund revenue from permitting fees, state taxes, and local option tax revenues.
The general fund is the source of funding for most day-to-day operations.
The budget also reflects a 26 percent reduction in the city's capital fund, which has a current balance of $2.5 million, due to adjusted income expectations associated with a revised annexation agreement for the Old Cutters subdivision. The city was expecting about $800,000 last year and this year from the developers of Old Cutters, but accepted deferred payments in exchange for a transfer of water rights to the city.
City Administrator Heather Dawson told the council Monday that a levy assessed for newly occupied homes in the city that has brought, on average, $30,000 per year to city coffers in recent years, will this year bring only about $2,000.
"This is a good indication of the effect of the falling housing market on the local economy," Dawson said in an interview.
Over the past two years, the city has been responding to the faltering economy by cutting staff positions, retraining workers and consolidating tasks.
In the past two years, the city has eliminated 10 full-time staff positions in several departments, including one police officer. It has retrained Building Department personnel to work in the Street Department and reduced other staff once needed to handle high volumes of building applications and development inspections.
The Public Works Department lost two full-time positions, and the library gained a half-time employee due to increased demand for its services.
City staff salaries are also frozen until things turn around.
Tony Evans: firstname.lastname@example.org