City Council gets first look at $48M budget

The City of Yukon will add two new police officer, an additional animal control officer and a firefighter, but otherwise the 2017-18 budget has little changes in personnel.

The City Council heard from each of the city’s departments Wednesday during a special meeting to discuss the proposed $48 million budget.

This year’s budget, said City Manager Jim Crosby, is about $1.5 million less than the current fiscal year budget. And this year’s budget is down substantially from the budget of two years ago.

“The budget estimates are based on this year’s income,” he said.

That includes about a 4 ½ percent decline in sales tax. However, that has been calculated into the expenditures.

Employees will not receive a cost-of-living pay increase in 2018, but many employees will receive “step” raises based on longevity and advancement.

Most of the city’s departments not only will have carryover from the current year, they also have reduced their expected expenditures for the coming year.

Income is down, but so are expenditures, Crosby told the council members.

“All of our accounts are in the plus,” he said.

The city is expecting $23,285,701 in revenue in the general fund, which is up slightly from the projected $22,109,958 in the current budget. Through April, the city had received $13,157,365.  However, the projected amount of revenue by year’s end is $21,003,255.

The projected sales tax for 2017-18 is $10,188,477. That is up down from $11,026,871 from 2016-17.

Crosby said the city’s financial situation is not much different than issues facing other cities, counties and even the state.

“We estimate sales tax to be up about 1.5 percent for next year. It’s not the normal 3 to 5 percent,” he said.

He also estimated that use tax will be up as well. The estimate projected revenue is $1.350872.  That is up slightly from the projected revenue for the current year.

“I really believe that next year the economy will not improve that much,” Crosby said, pointing out that is the general expectation from neighboring communities.

“As we move forward, … you can see we have a conservative budget,” he said, adding that all of the departments are falling within the limits that have been set.

The only departments expected to add personnel over the next year are the police department, animal control and the fire department.

The police department will add three officers and a jailer. One of those positions had previously been budgeted. The other two are being filled through negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police.

The jailer’s position is new and will allow officers to return to duty in a more-timely manner, Crosby said.

The fire department also is expecting to add a firefighter. However, the negotiations with the firefighter’s union is ongoing, said Crosby.

The fire department also will be searching for a new chief in the coming months as Fire Chief Kevin Jones retires at the end of July.

The other department expected to add personnel is the animal control department.

Overall, Crosby said the city is expecting good things to happen in the next couple of years, including the construction of a 55,000-square-foot water park and hotel complex.

In addition, several road projects will be underway, including an interchange at Interstate 40 and Frisco Road.

“It is a tight budget year. It is a conservative budget,” he said, but added that Yukon’s budget down only about 4 percent, compared to 8 or 9 percent other cities are facing.

“We’re looking forward to a good, strong conservative budget year” Crosby said.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held June 6. The council will consider the budget on June 20.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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