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Budget committee: No cuts to Parks requests

Budget committee: No cuts to Parks requests

August 10th, 2018 by Phillip Sitter in Local News

The John G. Christy Municipal Building in downtown Jefferson City is pictured in this Dec. 1, 2016 photo.

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Budget Committee on Thursday night discussed the expenses requested by two final city departments before the City Council begins to make final decisions on the city's 2019 fiscal year budget.

Public Works Director Matt Morasch and Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Todd Spalding presented their respective departments' budgets as approved by Mayor Carrie Tergin and City Administrator Steven Crowell.

Morasch's budget includes an increase of $401,992.09 in expenses over the adopted budget for 2018.

More than half of those increased expenses are estimated to come from the department's streets division.

Morasch said the departments' 2019 pink sheets — funding requests submitted by city departments — are "basically focused on equipment and vehicles," as maintenance costs on those items rise as the city's fleet ages.

The streets division in particular made initial requests to replace a 2-ton snow plow, several heavy-duty pickup trucks, a couple of three-quarter-ton service trucks and a street sweeper. The street sweeper is the most expensive request, at $215,000.

Other Public Works pink sheet requests include a $34,000 half-ton four-wheel-drive truck for central maintenance, a couple more $32,000 such trucks for engineering and the $100,000 replacement of a 1992 John Deere tractor at Jefferson City Memorial Airport.

Crowell trimmed almost $98,000 from Morasch's initial Public Works requests for 2019, and Tergin approved Crowell's recommendations.

Out of all the public works-requested equipment and vehicle items listed above, the mayor-approved 2019 budget presented Thursday only funds the $72,000 snow plow truck.

The mayor's budget also funds all $66,500 of the Public Works' parking division's pink sheet requests to replace a utility vehicle and hand-held ticket-writers and associated software, and all $346,000 requested through pink sheets by the department's wastewater division — including a $55,000 rate study.

Spalding presented a Parks budget that includes an increase of $2,152,865.30 in expenses over 2018.

The department has two new budget accounts for 2019 — $301,376.31 in projected expenses for special events, art and nature, and $384,171.42 in projected expenses for community enrichment and camps.

The department's mayor-approved budget also includes an anticipated $364,175.13 in increased maintenance expenses compared to 2018, and an increase of $1.13 million in administrative expenses over last year — more than $1 million of which are debt service payments.

The department made $359,450 in 2019 pink sheet requests for maintenance, and Tergin's budget funds all of it — including small engines, computers, picnic tables, benches, grills, a power washer, lawn mower, generator, trailers, a dump bed truck, a Brush Hog, skid loader and new fuel pumps. The most expensive individual maintenance item request for the department is a $125,000 heavy duty bucket truck.

Crowell gave the Parks department everything asked for and then some — with an extra $10,122.98 for administrative expenses.

Tergin's budget approved all of Crowell's recommendations for the Parks department.

Other Park pink sheet requests Tergin's budget supports are a recreation program manager with a net projected cost of $63,420.35 and $178,800 worth of requests for the city's golf course.

The mayor's 2019 budget projects the Parks department will generate $9.5 million in revenue — which would be an approximately 29 percent increase over the department's revenue in the adopted budget for 2018.

The department's total expenses and revenue are projected to cancel each other out in the mayor's budget.