Friday, August 20, 2010

Bellevue finalizes 2011 fiscal-year budget

Water and sewer rates go up Oct. 1

Express Staff Writer

The Bellevue City Council finalized the city's budget for fiscal year 2011 on Tuesday, voting to spend no more than $2,544,527 from October 2010 to October 2011. General fund revenue has dropped from $1.4 million this fiscal year to $1.1 million next year.

Last year's budget was just over $6,370,000, including a payment of about $4 million for construction of a new sewer plant. About $1.4 million will be spent next fiscal year on water-line and sewer-system upgrades.

"We are spending out of our savings to upgrade water lines," said City Administrator Tom Blanchard.

At the beginning of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, the city will raise water and sewer rates, as planned, to help pay for the new wastewater treatment facility that went on line in the spring.

Residential water rates will increase from $23 to $24 per month. Sewer rates will increase from $61 to $64 per month.

"There will be no big capital improvements this year," said City Clerk Dee Barton. "It's bare bones."

Despite the drop in revenue, the city will increase budgets slightly for the Parks, Fire and Buildings and Grounds departments, and the city shop.

The city will spend less on streets, planning and zoning, and administration.

Councilwoman Tammy Schofield congratulated city staff on Tuesday for making ends meet at City Hall.

"We are down 80 percent in revenue and expenses and are still providing excellent service to the city of Bellevue," she said.

Due to over-budgeting for the Bellevue Marshal's Office, the council voted to remove $5,489 from that line item and put it in a contingency fund before finalizing the budget.

In other Bellevue news:

( The council adopted an "open burn" ordinance to regulate the burning of slash piles in the city. Permits cost $35 and can be obtained at the Fire Department. Fires will be inspected prior to burning and limited in size to 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet in height.

( The Micky and the Motorcars fundraising concert held in Bellevue last week raised $5,000 for the Labor Day Parade and celebration.

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