October 8, 2014

Council approves finalized budget

By Chris Erickson

Beulah’s city government went forward with next year’s budget this week after brief discussion from city councilors.
Councilor Roger Gazur asked for clarification on a transfer of funding dealing with excess highway funds carried over into the next budget.
“What we have budgeted for expenditures, the revenue to cover that is going to be a combination of revenue sources plus what we have transferred from the highway fund to the general fund,” he stated.
Mayor Darrell Bjerke said what was spent on the highway would be coming out of the highway fund. Gazur asked if that would be similar to a homeowner dipping into savings to pay for expenses. City Auditor Heather Ferebee stated that for some larger expenditures that could be seen as the case for next year’s budget. Bjerke clarified that the council would be using funding that had been saved over the years by virtue of the highway funding not having been spent correctly in previous years. Because of that higher-than-normal balance, that funding would be used in the future budget for other things, which was not sustainable.
“I’m hoping that each portfolio and department is extremely careful with what they spend,” he said. “I think it needs to be reviewed and reported on prior to that expenditure because I think we need to save some out of here. The money’s there, but the 2015 revenue is not there.”
Ultimately the budget found unanimous approval from the council.
Bjerke also spoke briefly about the need for housing in the city.
According to Bjerke, he had felt “quite a bit of heartburn” to speak with people who were looking to build in Beulah but couldn’t find any lots.

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