• August 29, 2014

Cove studying proposed budget

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:30 am

COPPERAS COVE — The City Council on Tuesday received a review of the proposed 2013-2014 fiscal year budget from each department on changes in costs from this year to next.

According to the proposed budget, the city is projecting about $53 million in expenses and about $51.9 million in revenues.

A majority of the expenses are in the city’s general fund, which has a projected outlay of $16.3 million and revenues of $15.2 million. The departments within the fund are what generated the most discussion Tuesday.

“That is probably the only budget we will see that is less than the previous year,” Councilman Kenn Smith said about the first presentation from the municipal court.

The municipal court reduced its budget by about $500, mostly by continuing to operate on a paperless system, said Joseph Pace, the municipal court administrator.

Ryan Haverlah, the city budget director, said the court system is part of the city’s most expensive functions — public safety.

According to the budget presentation, the proposed expenses for public safety-related functions will see an increase from about $9.2 million to about $10.1 million.

The projected cost for the police department administration increased from $597,829 to $711,293, and expenses for the police department’s service division will rise from about $4.6 million to $4.7 million.

The reasons for the increased cost include items such as salaries and benefits, said Tim Molnes, Cove’s police chief.

The fire department also saw more expenses, as projections moved from $3.6 million to $3.9 million for the department.

Administration, training and emergency management budgets showed lower expenditures for the upcoming year, but fire prevention and operations are expected to increase in cost.

The fire department moved a lot of figures around in the budget and separated certain items throughout its budgeted job functions, Fire Chief Burney Baskett said.

However, operations expenditures are anticipated to rise because the department wants to hire one more firefighter to balance the number of personnel on each shift, said Mike Rammingner, deputy chief of operations.

Other increases can be attributed to training incentives and staff development, said Ramminger and Deputy Fire Chief Gary Young.

Animal control expects a rise in expenditures, from $245,040 to $271,975.

Deputy Police Chief Mike Heintzelman said the larger figure is attributed to employee raises and repairs needed for the city’s animal shelter.

The council set the first public hearing on the proposed budget for Aug. 1.

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