Douglas Council reviews budgetBy Larry Blaskey
The Douglas Finance Committee working in concert with city staff presented the Douglas City Council a balanced budget for the second straight year with no layoffs or forced furloughs.
The presentation was made by Finance Committee member David Caveny during the regular meeting of the council on June 9.
“I am confident if we don’t get any surprises from the Legislature, that we can progress with a balanced budget. It’s remarkable considering we have seen $628,000 in reductions from the state”
Changes the city has made in collection of city sales tax and keeping a clamp on expenditures helped the city reach its goal, Caveny said.
“We’re solvent. Many cities in the state have had to make severe cutbacks in order to survive,” said Council member Ray Shelton.
“This group did an excellent job in moving us ahead despite the financial restrictions,” said Mayor Dr. Michael Gomez.
“For this proposed budget the General Fund is expecting a reduction in State Shared Sales/Income Tax revenues of $628,108. On the other hand, General Fund proposed budget included a reduction of $321,465 in expenditures compared to the 2009-2010 operating budget. This reduction is based on 5% to 10% reduction of department budgets, reduction of contingency to $100,000, and savings in salaries,” Caveny reported
Highlights for the General Fund are:
• Establishing a partnership with IDA for Douglas Economic Development, generating a 68% reduction in the Economic Development operating budget
• Implementation of the Local Sales Tax Administration/Collection program
• Improvements to the Aquatic Center for $58,000. The facility will be closed from November 2010, thru February 2011. Eighth Street Pool will be open from June through the end of August.
• Capital expenditures are limited due to budget constraints and $329,589 appropriation is recommended for the fiscal year.
The city council is scheduled to have a much more in-depth study of the budget during a special meeting on Wednesday, June 16.