The Monett City Council has scheduled second reading for its ordinance adopting a $31.9 million budget for fiscal year 2009-10 at its regular monthly meeting on March 20 at 9:30 a.m.. Public comment on the plan, including the proposals to raise water and sewer rates, will be heard at that time.
In the meantime, City Administrator Dennis Pyle said comments can be submitted to the city on its website, www.cityofmonett.com. Questions can be submitted to Pyle through e-mail on the website, which he said he will be glad to answer.
Depending on the degree of comments offered at the March 20 meeting, council members will either adopt the budget on that occasion, or schedule a special meeting for the last week of the month to adopt the spending plan.
As for changes in the budget, Pyle commented, "There's only so much money to go around. If there are to be changes, it's kind of like the state legislature. If there's an increase somewhere, there's got to be a decrease somewhere else. Tell us where to cut."
Pyle said the council will keep monitoring revenues, in case the economic stagnation anticipated in the coming year reverses. Should that happen, he anticipated going down the list of possible capital projects and seeing what might be available.
The city budget was unveiled on March 3. The fiscal plan is still one of the largest on record, but calls for no new capital improvements except those funded by restricted utilities revenue, a profound change from past years.
For the coming fiscal year, the city is expecting to spend $31,919,801 and receive revenues of $31,713,886. This spending plan is about $200,000 smaller than the 2007 budget and $10 million under the 2008-09 budget, which included the bulk of the Highway 60 widening project and the Eisenhower railroad bridge.
A reduction in spending is based on the prediction that sales tax income will decline by 3 percent.