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City preparing for start of another budget cycle

Work needs doing, equipment needs replacing and the battle to keep up with city needs seems never-ending, but for Canby City Administrator Greg Ellis and budget director Haley Fish, the start of a new budget cycle will, as usual, come down to one thing — what do the numbers say?

Ellis noted that the budget process for 2014-15 is underway. The first budget meeting is slated for early December and the numbers that may be included in the next budget are already being formulated.

The process, he said, is nearly constant.

“One of the things we do is we make sure to look at last year’s audit,” Ellis said. “We want to make sure we have the basic information from the auditors.

What we’re looking for is do our expenditures meet what our budget said they were going to be.

“Are we going to have the money we thought we would?” Ellis said. “It is more or less? Do we need a supplemental budget? Right now, we want to get a snapshot of where we are today and make sure we’re following our budget.”

Ellis said he thought that the city’s budget is doing well and (Continued from page 1)

lauded the work of city staff for constant efforts to be frugal and find cost savings when they present themselves.

He noted the work done by Mike Connor and the staff at the wastewater treatment plant.

“We got back a check for $19,000 and it hasn’t even been a year yet,” Ellis said. “They instituted some money-saving methods down there that are continuous energy stuff, not just getting a credit for the kind of light bulb they use. This is ongoing stuff that’s saving us money and providing us with refunds we didn’t anticipate. That makes those guys proud and want to do more. I’m really proud of them. For them, it‘s not just coming to work to clean the manure, you know.”

What Ellis does know about the new budget is that it will have some capital improvement projects attached to it, including a couple at the wastewater treatment facility where renovating and replacing headworks will cost between $800,000 and $900,000.

There will also be some street and sidewalk work in the budget extending from Ivy Street to Ninth Avenue to the tune of about $464,000.

“One of the things that contractors say is interesting about us is that we do most of our business by cash,” Ellis said. “We don’t go after bonds to pay for all these projects. We usually wait until spring to do the capital improvement projects and some of that is based on revenue coming in. If we don’t have it, we don’t spend it.”

Ellis said the work of Fish has helped streamline the process and brought some new ideas to the table.

“She’s doing a good job. She keeps a close eye on everything,” Ellis said. “She started a CIP list from all of our areas — street, sewer, stormwater capital improvement plans. This gives us all a better picture of the money we need and what needs doings.

“The process is just starting, but it will come on fast,” Ellis said.



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