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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Linton passes 2013 budget

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The City of Linton's 2013 budget passed with little comment Monday night.

However, Mayor John Wilkes -- who served as the Greene County Council president prior to taking office in January -- warned that may be the last bloodless budget deliberations for a while.

"We're all right this year, but I think next year, it's going to be rough, honestly," Wilkes said immediately after the Linton City Council unanimously passed this year's $3,671,335 budget.

"A year after this, we're really going to be in some trouble" due to changes in state regulations which have reduced and limited tax revenue to municipalities, Wilkes said. "This year, we should be able to make the budget."

When more troubling times arrive, Wilkes said the city will have done as much as is possible to prepare. However, he doesn't rule out job cuts.

"We're cutting as much as we can possibly cut right now," Wilkes said. "If we had to find money, it'd almost have to be from personnel cuts, and we definitely don't want to do that."

The breakdown for the 2013 budget is as follows:

* $2,131,400 for the city's General Fund, with a current tax levy of $506,927.

* $89,150 for the Firefighters Pension Fund.

* $138,150 for the Police Pension Fund.

* $60,000 for the Local Road and Street Fund.

* $374,100 for the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, with a current tax levy of $30,091.

* $7,500 in the city's Continuing Education Fund.

* $375,000 in the Parks and Recreation Fund.

* $74, 700 in the Park Fund, with a current tax levy of $7,021.

* $82,250 in the A.M. Risher Swimming Pool Fund.

* $95,700 in the Cemetery Fund, with a current tax levy of $14,042.

* $6,209 in the Construction Fund.

* $50,000 in the Cumulative Capital Improvements Fund, paid for via cigarette taxes.

* $50,000 in the Cumulative Capital Developments Fund, which has a current tax levy of $13,340.

*$137,176 in the Fire Station's Building Debt Service Fundm with a current tax levy of $119,159.

Frugality has always been a focus for the mayor, who's ten months into his first term. Wilkes has consistently sought cost savings, moves he has emphasized are increasingly necessary due to multiple factors that are straining city budgets to their limits.

For example, the Indiana General Assembly's decision to establish property tax caps reduced the revenue returning to the cities and towns.

"They're putting much, much more of the burden back on the cities and towns," Wilkes said last winter.

Those cuts, coupled with steadily increasing costs for necessities such as fuel and salt treatments for icy roads in winter, have meant local governments find themselves increasingly pressured to save money.

The city utilities have resumed local control of billing, and the redistricting of council districts undertaken this year was done in house, saving the city tens of thousands of dollars otherwise spent on consultants.

"Hopefully, we will have more money coming in next year -- enough to cover everything," Wilkes said.



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