Great Bend Interim City Administrator George Kolb presented the recommended budget for 2019 to the Great Bend City Council Tuesday evening at City Hall. Kolb said the theme for 2019 would be “budgeting for outcomes.” How much does the City Council want to purchase of any item for any department?
Kolb and City Clerk Shawna Schafer noted the City sits in a good position in 2019 with motor tax receipts up $120,000 and the City’s assessed value increasing $3 million, but each could be different and their actions would have to be reevaluated.
George Kolb & Shawna Schafer Audio
The projected mill levy for 2019 is 52.07, down from 52.183 on the estimated 2018 year. Kolb anticipated a two percent increase in sales tax revenue in 2019 and mentioned one of the main areas the City wants to fix is compensation issues throughout the staff, especially within the fire and police departments.
The Council decided to use the necessary funds to bring all employees to the minimum of the pay range, and council member Cory Urban suggested taking care of the compression issue beginning January 1, 2019. The first estimated cost to get employees up to par will be roughly $91,000.
Cory Urban Audio
The other noticeable change the Council recommended was funding the Great Bend Public Library less money. The City was set to give the Library $771,000, a jump from $743,000 in 2018. The total included the Library’s $100,000 payment back to the city for a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. The pattern for the Library funding was $555,000 each year prior to 2018, when the Library received extra money from an excess cash balance in the library fund bumping their total to $743,000.
Urban noted that number represented a total from a one-time cash dispersal and the total should be reset close to the original amount.
Cory Urban Audio
The Council elected to put the Library’s fund to $690,000 which includes the $100,000 HVAC payment.
There will be a budget hearing on August 20 at 6 p.m. at City Hall with the budget getting published in the newspaper 10 days prior to the public meeting. The City has to send the approved budget to the Barton County Clerk by August 25.