After a series of workshops and "homework" sessions the past few months, the Cherokee City Council is poised to propose the City's 2011-2012 Fiscal Year Budget at a Public Hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in Council Chambers.
Essentially, the new budget is similar to last year's and totals an estimated $11,120,271, compared to the 2010-2011 budget of $10,965,390.
Any sizable increases or decreases in departmental budgets carry logical explanations revolving mostly around proposed or already completed special projects, facility repairs, equipment purchases, etc.
An example of this is the proposed City Parks budget of $351,479, which is approximately $187,000 more than the current FY budget of $164,860. However, that increase results from a proposed $175,000 public trail system that will ultimately be paid for by grant monies.
Likewise a $13,000 hike from $5,350 to $18,000 for the Planning & Zoning budget. Those monies have been added for the City's proposed new Comprehensive Plan now in the works and also will be re-funded by grant monies.
The Cherokee Police Department budget for next fiscal year is $508,632, about $23,000 more than the current budget of $485,038. That increase is attributable to negotiated salaries and utility expenses after the City Police relocated from the County Law Enforcement Center to their own facility in the former Department of Human Services building on West Maple Street.
The Cherokee Fire & Rescue budget is proposed at $168,611, compared to $147,449 last year. Building repairs are listed as the major reason for that budget spike, according to City Hall.
The Council budget jumps from the current $17,956 total to $23,591 mainly to cover a $4,000 expense for a City Election Year.
The Mayor and Administration budget is proposed at $123,679, compared to the current $121,348 due to future office equipment purchases. The Financial Administration budget is up $7,000 from $104,335 to $111,809, with that hike attributable to planned software and office equipment purchases.
The Local Option Sales Tax fund jumped from $575,000 to $2,385,620 primarily for the proposed West Cherry and North 11th Street renovation projects. That also includes $1,951,256 shifted from Street Improvement Projects to LOST, with Street Improvements totaling zero for 2011-2012.
The City's Sewer Improvement fund is also proposed at zero from the current $258,000. Those monies were directed to the Sewer Plant's new ultra-violet light system project already completed that was mandatory due to EPA and DNR regulations.
The City Water Utility budget jumped $107,000 from $828,936 to $935,588, with a majority of that increase going for water main replcaements, pump rehab, water plant maintenance and repair, and various department upgrades.
All other departmental and related municipal budgetary proposals for 2011-2012 are closely aligned with current budget totals.