Decision On Superior Budget Proposals Postponed Until September 15
Superior Mayor Jim Paine sent what he called "ambitious" budget proposals to the City Council for review at the meeting on Tuesday, September 1; as expected , those proposals will have to wait - at least for now - as the group moved to postpone action until at least the September 15 meeting.
Setting the stage for the postponement is the discussions that came up in regards to the proposals. While Paine's plan seeks to add funding and services for some parts of the city's expense budget, he also pledged that they wouldn't cost taxpayers any additional out-of-pocket money. In order to do that, the proposed budget comes with cuts to existing departments and expenses.
According to news sources, the following line-items would see funding reductions:
- Mayor's budget: a decrease of $32,000
- Public Works shop: a decrease of $128,000
- City Attorney: a reduction of $45,000
- Fire Department: a decrease of $25,000
A back-and-forth developed between some of the councilors and the mayor regarding both the proposals to spend more money, along with the reductions in allotments for some current services. They mayor shared that he sees "some of the reductions....from reduced personnel costs as higher paid employees retire and are replace by new personnel at the lower end of the pay scale."
In addition, a revolving fund has utilized for equipment costs in the fire, police, and public works departments. There is also a shift in how maintenance costs for equipment from a variety of different departments is allocated. In the past, repairs came from a generalized fund; the mayor is proposing shifting budgetary responsibility for these repairs to the respective, individual departments.
Paine's budget proposal included the following items:
- Adding a social worker for the Superior Police Department
- Providing an additional $10,000 in funding for training for the police department
- Eliminating library late fees
- Increased funding for public, mass transportation
- Funding snow-removal operations for sidewalks that are located on the Safe Routes around the city's schools
The council will revisit the budget proposal issue at their meeting on Tuesday, September 15.