City council discusses preliminary budget
By Annette Tait
Center City Council members took a hard look at last year’s expenses and revenue, and crunched the numbers for the preliminary 2018 budget. Included in the discussion was the concern that revenue from the trailer court and RV park will be lower than in the previous year, and also that NDPERS, the entity that provides benefits packages for city employees, expects a 10-15 percent increase in the coming year.
Also under scrutiny were the line items for maintenance on the Betty Hagel Memorial Civic Center and the suggestion the maintenance fund be increased as it has been over budget in each of the past three years; the need for updating of city parks; and possibly eliminating the miscellaneous supplies line item.
“I don’t think we should have anything under miscellaneous unless it’s relevant,” City Auditor Terrie Nehring said, noting that projected expenses should all be justified.
Council members noted that, while sales tax revenue was higher than initial expected in its first year, negative effects of the D4 drought on the county’s agriculture economy have reduced tax income in recent months. The trend is likely to continue the remainder of this year and into the coming year.