COLLEGE PLACE — Boosted by a major road project and other capital improvements, City Council members approved a substantially increased budget Monday.
The city’s $26.5 million budget for 2013 is a 40.5 percent increase above last year’s. The largest portion of the increase, $10.5 million, will be for the College Avenue-Rose Street Reconstruction Project approved by voters in August.
Other major capital projects in the budget include $180,000 for an overlay project on Southeast Davis Avenue, $90,000 for a water line replacement on Ninth Avenue and Cedar Street and $50,000 for other capital projects.
But while money for capital projects has increased the overall budget, the current expense fund that pays for much of the day-to-day operations has dropped slightly. And possible cutbacks in state funds could pose challenges in the coming year, City Administrator Pat Reay warned.
In 2013, the current expense fund is projected to be about $4.9 million, or about 18.6 percent of the total city budget. Although that amount is down 3 percent from 2012, the proposed budget “does contemplate a couple of staffing modifications and a newly created code enforcement position,” Reay said.
However, in a memo to Council members, Reay said that proposed cuts in the state budget related to local government revenue sharing may hit city finances in the coming year. The city could lose up to $150,000 if all revenue sharing cuts are implemented, he said.
Another impact would be $7,500 to $15,000 for law enforcement academy training if the city needs to hire any replacement or new police officers, Reay said. That could drive the total impact to the city up to $165,000.
Reay said the city staff would continue to watch the situation and any changes to the 2013 budget would have to be discussed with the City Council.