City's proposed budget goes down thanks to savings, decreased costs

FAIRVIEW - Thanks to penny pinching and declining insurance costs, the city plans to spend about 1.5 percent less this fiscal year, according to proposed budget numbers released Friday, March 23.

If approved by the City Council, the overall general-fund budget request would rise 12 percent, from nearly $8 million currently to just under $9 million in the next fiscal period. But the spending plan would fall from the current $5.7 million to $5.6 million.

City Administrator Joe Gall said spending less is 'pretty unusual' and indicates that the city is in good shape financially.

'We didn't get there overnight. Department heads have been watching our spending, watching our pennies,' he said. 'No one asked for anything they didn't need. It's a conservative budget.'

The proposed budget would reserve $1 million to pay off the City Hall building in June 2009 - 10 years early. Such a move would save taxpayers $600,000 by reducing interest payments, according to a city press release.

'It's a ton of money' that is the result of good fiscal management, Gall said.

The city would also budget $10,000 to plan year-round events in 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fairview's founding.

Other than adding a part-time position to the police department, city staffing levels won't change.

The general-fund budget has increased 142 percent since 2003, when it was $1.4 million.

City councilors will discuss the proposed budget, which is available at City Hall, at 6 p.m. Monday, April 2.

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