WARSAW — Review of proposed budgets for 2016 are complete. Now the Warsaw City Council needs to act on the proposals before the Sept. 19 deadline to advertise that budget.
Council members reviewed the last of the city department budgets Monday evening in a nearly three-hour meeting. The total proposed budget is $27,954,694, up $1,849,613 from the 2015 propose budget of $26,105,081. This is a 7.085 percent increase.
Department budgets were reviewed for aviation, building and planning, cemetery, fire territory, parks, police and public works. A quick review was given to the cumulative capital development fund. Most of the increases in budgets were due to a 2-3 percent pay increase for employees and installation of new fiber optic phone systems.
The proposed aviation budget is $756,780, a 3.48 percent percent increase over 2015. Nick King, airport manager, stated the budget includes purchase of equipment which is over 10 years old. Additional equipment purchase has been added to the Aviation Depreciation fund, which totals $35,000.
The building and planning budget is $666,902, up 22 percent from 2015’s proposed budget, according to Jeremy Skinner, city planner. This budget included the creation of a code enforcement inspector position, to work with the building commissioner and building inspector. Budgets for redevelopment general at $171,925; redevelopment allocation, $417,620, Redevelopment northern TIF $2,924,237, Redevelopment Winona Interurban TIF $45,000, and Redevelopment Eastern Tiff, $2000, were also reviewed. These budgets included projects within those districts including funds for the demolition of the Gatke property, Buffalo Street project, Mariners Drive upgrade, Market Street project and others.
The cemetery budget, according to Hal Heagy, cemetery sexton, is the largest for that department in the last nine years. The proposed budget is $658,134, with the cemetery permanent fund at $98,000. Heagy stated the general budget is up $80,480. Haegy noted some equipment is needing replaced along with a new computer and software. The cemetery permanent fund included purchase of trees and cemetery road repair.
Mike Brubaker, fire chief, presented the fire territory budget, which totaled $4,096,808 a 19.50 percent increase over the actual working budget. Brubaker stated it includes two additional firefighters, architectural fees for station 3, two to three additional volunteer firefighters, new tornado warning siren for station 2, and in the equipment replacement fund, a new rescue truck was included. The equipment replacement fund total was proposed at $1,050,436, up 1.06 percent from 2015.
The parks’ department budget was presented by Larry Plummer, parks superintendent. This budget is proposed at $2,160,117 for it’s general budget, a 1 percent increase and no change in the non-reverting fund at $14,650. The budget includes replacement of items in accordance with the five-year master plan as well as funds for a new five-year master plan. Funds were also included for a new roof over the south half of the Pete Thorn Center.
The police budget was proposed at $4,710,747, a 2.1 percent increase. Scott Whitaker, police chief, went through the budget noting it includes five new police cars, a security video system, solar radar trailer, digital patrol video, and police car equipment.. The department’s law continuing education budget, which is revenue generated through fees, totaled $43,000.
The last budget to be reviewed was that for the public works. Jeff Beeler, public works superintendent, presented a 4.67 percent total increase over 2015 with a proposed budget of $4,019,631. His budget included two traffic signal back-up systems, and new necessary equipment. The motor vehicle highway budget is proposed at $700,000, a 14.7541 percent increase. It was noted the city needs to have a $800,000 paving budget to adequately maintain city streets. The budget only allocates $533,000.
The first public hearing on the 2016 budget adoption will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 5, with final adoption at 7 p.m. Oct. 19. The budget will then be submitted to the Department of local government finance to receive it’s budget order at which time the budget will be reviewed for necessary cuts.