Mayor presents proposed 2014 Jefferson City budget
Friday, July 19, 2013
The next fiscal year in Jefferson City could see the elimination of JCTV, as well as the restoration of a full-time finance director.
Mayor Eric Struemph presented his proposed 2014 budget Thursday, highlighting a small number of proposed changes as compared with previous years.
Jefferson City is expecting declining revenues in the next fiscal year; both the mayor and city administrator predict an estimated $28 million in general revenue, a nearly $5 million decline from the current fiscal year.
Struemph’s proposed budget, yet to be discussed by the City Council who will make the final decision, includes eliminating city funding for JCTV. The station escaped termination last year, but the council cut JCTV’s budget by $55,000.
Struemph proposes to eliminate the remaining $110,000 from the budget, but said Thursday he had included money for a part-time camera operator to allow the city to continue streaming council meetings online.
“Funding for JCTV, in my eyes, is not an essential service for our city at this time,” Struemph said.
He said he has already spoken with Lincoln University President Kevin Rome about his proposal.
Struemph also proposed reducing the city’s vacancy savings by $130,000 to allow for a full-time finance director.
Bill Betts, information technology director, also has been filling the role of interim finance director since January. Former finance director Steve Schlueter retired at the end of September 2012 and the city has not had a full-time director since.
“A city this size, in my eyes, definitely needs, per our city charter, a full-time finance director,” Struemph said. “If approved by the council, I look forward to get moving on this in the very near future.”
Struemph said he would hope to have someone in the position by the beginning of the next fiscal year, Nov. 1 of this year.
Also included in Struemph’s proposed budget is a contingency line item. City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus had proposed a $50,000 contingency line item in his budget earlier this year to allow for smaller, unexpected expenses without drawing from the fund balance.
“The budget that I am presenting has a contingency line item for the first time in recent memory,” Struemph said.
Struemph’s proposed contingency has about $122,000 to allow for the unexpected, he said, and also to measure how close the city’s projections are to reality.
Other proposed changes to the budget include an addition of $100,000 for street chemicals and an additional $3,000 to resume security at City Council meetings, which was cut earlier this year when the city faced a $1.68 million shortfall.
Struemph also noted the city would not be able to accommodate employee raises in the next fiscal year.
The City Council will begin budget discussions July 29 and will continue meeting on Mondays and Thursdays until the budget has been approved.
To see a copy of the mayor’s proposed budget, go to www.newstribune.com/2014 budget.
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