The plan for Tuesday's budget study session was to give the City Council an overview of general funds, revenues and expenses. It is already clear a revenue hike will be needed to maintain the city's current services. Finance Director Jaye Monter says two notable shortfalls lie in the programs services provided to Grand Island citizens.
In order for the city to balance increasing payroll costs and operating expenses, they will need about $350,000. An additional shortfall of bout $611,000 will arise due to the improvement of streets and various other city projects. Monter says her plan includes a strategy where Grand Island citizens will not need to worry about cutbacks, but ultimately the decision is up to the city council.
Monter says, "We don't want to cut any services and that's why our presentation here tonight is 'Here you go, council. Here's what it's going to take.' We've gone through three years of cutbacks and reductions, so we thought this year, we're going to present to council right away so they know what the revenue shortfalls are going to be in order for us not to cut services."
City Council President Peg Gilbert says, "We hope not to cut any operating issues this year, however we need to see. It's a ten member council and what they decide, and whether we feel like a new source of revenue can be found to cover the gap."
If the City Council feels any kind of safety costs need to be cut, they will be discussed in a meeting on July 17th.
The city is having to put together this budget without former City Administrator and former Finance Director Mary Lou Brown who resigned, but City Council members say although Brown had a great deal of financial knowledge, they believe they were still able to do what was right for the city in the proposed budget.