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City adopts lower budget

Down from 2011-12

by: Photo by Holly M. Gill - CS Construction is beginning to work on the interior of the new Madras City Hall-Police Station, at Fourth and E streets, which is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.  Crews have already installed some pavers for the veterans memorial plaza.

The city of Madras adopted a reduced budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year at the June 26 meeting of the Madras City Council.
   The adopted budget of $17,899,930, is down about 8 percent from last year's budget of $19,497,591, and down $42,000 from the proposed budget, due to a reduction in staff at the Madras Public Works Department.
   The budget took effect on July 1, when water rates for the city increased 4.5 percent. Sewer rates are scheduled to jump from $38.80 per month, per residence, to $45 beginning in October -- an increase of 16 percent.
   The sewer and water increases are due to the city's debt payment for expansion at both the South and North Wastewater Treatment Plants, according to City Administrator Gus Burril.
   "Due to the multi-year trend of declining economic development, the wastewater operations fund will have to increase assistance for annual debt payments to the SDC Wastewater Improvement Fund over the next three years," he explained.
   For 2013-14, it will increase to $52.20, and for 2014-15, to $58.50.
   The police department, which employs 12 of the city's 31 employees, accounts for 75.4 percent of the total general fund budget, but 95 percent of city's property tax revenue expenditures. The other 5 percent of the tax revenue supports the parks fund.
   The total police department budget is $1,903,888.
   During the current fiscal year, the city will complete and move into a new city hall-police station. The $4.8 million building is expected to be completed by CS Construction by the end of the year.
   The 14,800-square-foot building, designed by Steele Associates Architects, will have a veterans memorial plaza in front and parking in the back.
   A lobby will divide the 7,060-square-foot city hall offices and council chamber on the west side of the building from the 5,910-square-foot police station on the east side.
   The project will be funded with a combination of grants, including a $350,000 FEMA grant to demolish the current city hall and police station -- which is located in a floodway, a low-interest loan of $2.2 million, and a low-interest revenue bond for $1.7 million, as well as more than $720,000 set aside by the city.