Verona City Council members put the brakes on planned spending during their February meeting in light of a worsening financial picture.
Clerk Julie Ruscha reported sales tax revenues were down 30 percent with the fiscal year ending on March 31. The news contributed to caution in making major financial moves.
Council member Deborah Snyder's motion to buy a salt and sand spreader from Bus Andrews received no second and died. Alderman Lloyd Airrington questioned the cost and ease with which it could be used. Aldermen decided to look for more options.
Aldermen scheduled a budget work session for March 9 to make final preparations for passing a budget on March 23.
Mayor Roy Snyder asked aldermen to think about instituting a reserve policy. Snyder suggested keeping three-to-six months worth of operating expenses in the general fund and the sewer fund. Clerk Julie Ruscha was asked to look into policies used by other towns and report back at the March regular meeting.
Grant money sought through the Southwest Council of Government for street and storm water drainage was not approved, Mayor Snyder reported.
In other financial news, Fire Chief Glenn Callison reported BCP Ingredients had donated $1,000 which had been used to purchased rescue equipment.
At Ruscha's recommendation, aldermen dropped the monthly expense for technical support on the city's bookkeeping program and used the accumulated funds to upgrade the software.
Aldermen approved Dustin Miller as a new volunteer firefighter.
Chief Callison reported firemen made three runs for medical calls during January.
Police Chief Joe Powell said officers issued 60 citations and 20 warnings during January. Officers had attended recent basketball games at the high school at the school superintendent's request in part to help manage the crowds. Powell said the black and white squad car continues to have problems with its headlights and has been restricted to daytime usage.
Ruscha supplied aldermen with copies of an ordinance on dog tags from another city as a guide for creating similar guidelines in Verona.