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October 20, 2014, 7:58 am
970 WMAY News

Aldermen Begin Budget Process

The City of Springfield plans to consolidate their fleet of vehicles under one roof by the end of the fiscal year, but it's not included in the proposed budget. During a budget overview Monday, Budget Director Bill McCarty provided the projected numbers for the coming fiscal year.


There's an increase of just over 3 percent in spending and revenue with 33.5 positions eliminated in the overall city budget.


McCarty says there will be one position added to the mayor's office. That will be a paralegal to assist in video gaming licenses for $50,000 a year.


Some other additions in the overall budget includes a $400,000 program to assist Oak Ridge Cemetery, $1 million in payments to police and fire pensions, and $7 million in funds for infrastructure improvements, some of that coming from newly instated video gaming machines.


One thing that is not budgeted for the fiscal year is the potential cost of bringing the city's fleet of vehicles, from police to public works and utility trucks, under one garage for maintenance.  That was a big topic last year with the creation of a new fleet manager position.


In other budget discussions, the Clerk's office says that there is an increase in the amount they have to pay for death certificates from the state while the Treasurer's office hopes to bring in even more money that is owed to the city for Fiscal Year 2014. There is and also an increase of about $2,000 raise for the Clerk and Treasurer.


The budget for Lincoln Library has increased for the coming fiscal year and one of things that's a sign of the times is the increase in licensing for electronic resources. Lincoln Library Director Nancy Huntley says there is an increase in use of electronic books by the public, mainly because the public has devices that can accept the digital books. 


Some other increases for Library's coming fiscal year includes money for restoring and resealing tile floors on the first floor of the library and funds for repairing the a 35-year-old heating and cooling system.


Meanwhile, several aldermen asked if the library could use a part time security guard to help cut back on overtime hours and to fill in for when one of the two current security guards. Huntley says that she and the fiscal officer may fill in for an hour here and there when there is no security guard on the grounds.


For the Office of Planning and Economic Development budget, the requested budget for fiscal year 2014 is down 17.75. There is a decline of over 20 percent in grant dollars from a variety of programs.


As for Headcount, there's a decline by one person for the past four years in the headcount at OPED, according to director Mike Farmer. The department makes up just a little over half a percent of the overall city budget and is tasked with working alongside local commercial interests in increasing the economic development of the capital city.


The first of five different hearings was held Monday for the upcoming budget of Fiscal Year 2014. City Water Light and Power's budget will be discussed at the next hearing Tuesday January 15th, the same day as a council committee of the whole meeting.

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