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Posted: Nov 9 2010, 08:45 PM
BMX News Reporter
Member No.: 2
Joined: 27-September 10
*** Othello Starts 2011 With Less Funds ***
Othello, Washington -- 11/09/2010
Othello starts 2011 with less money than last year.
The fund is about half a million dollars less than the starting 2010 general fund.
Yet the city remains in a healthy financial state, according to Othello Finance
Officer Mike Bailey.
The 2011 general fund budget will have around $1.2 million to divide
among various city departments, Bailey said in a budget discussion.
“I want to really commend all city staff for keeping the
budget slim this year,” said councilmember Kenneth Johnson.
In a preliminary budget discussion, the city decided to use around
$387,500 from the general fund towards various department purchases.
Councilmembers will look at the enterprise funds in the next council meeting.
Enterprise funds comes from water, sewer and solid waste services and are
kept in service through user fees.
A city can borrow money collected through the enterprise
funds to pay for any loss from the general fund.
The city did not have to make any position cuts from the general fund for 2011.
The largest purchases made through the general fund was a skateboard park
and the continued construction on a Community Center, both costing $100,000.
Othello Police Department also asked for fund increase in the upcoming budget.
The police department asked city council to consider turning a part-time
dispatcher position into full-time, adding an additional $19,885 to their
The department also asked for an additional police officer to add on to its
current 15 officers on staff, which would require an additional $65,206 from
the general fund.
“Re-establishing the allocated strength will allow us to participate
in other programs,” stated Othello Police Chief Steve Dunnagan.
City council decided to allow for the department to add an additional
officer and not turn the part-time into a full-time dispatcher position.
Councilmembers said that they would rather continue paying for any
overtime incurred through the part-time dispatcher position, reasoning
the cost is still less than turning the position into full-time.
“In 2010, the city paid the part-time dispatcher $6,500 in overtime
charges,” said Bailey.
A few other departments asked for increased funds
in the upcoming budget as well.
City Hall will make its building compliant with the
Americans with Disabilities Act with an upgrade costing $15,000.
City officials are also looking to increase funds
for exterior maintenance purposes, costing $20,000.
Bailey said the city is hoping to approve its budget for 2011 before Nov. 22.
As budget discussions continue, councilmember Marc Spohr
reminded the council of the current state of the economy.
“The minimum wage got a slight raise this year and Social Security received
zero increase. I believe it is the prudent thing to do to not raise our salaries
higher,” said Spohr.
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