Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ketchum gets 2014 budget preview


By BRENNAN REGO
Express Staff Writer

    Ketchum City Administrator Gary Marks presented on Monday an overview of the city’s fiscal year 2013-14 budget, saying it’s essentially flat compared to this year’s budget and that he’s concerned about low planning and development revenues.
    After his presentation to the City Council, Marks said that “pre-recession” about 12-20 percent of the city’s revenue came from such revenues, which he said include fees for building permits, annexations and plan reviews.
    “Right now we’re at 3 percent,” he said.
    Though such revenues have bounced back to some degree on a national level, Marks said they have not yet done so in the city.
    At the meeting, Marks said the city is in good economic shape overall and has saved up about $300,000 that it could use on a one-time project or projects, but that there is only about $21,500 of “sustainable spending” available for new continuing expenses. He said it’s up to the council to decide what it wants to do with the $300,000.
    Doug Brown, director of the Wood River Economic Partnership, said the council should invest in the city’s Community and Economic Development Department.
    “The last thing you want is a delay because your staff is not ready to roll [if/when the recovery reaches Ketchum],” he said.
    The City Council had requested that Marks prepare the budget overview a month earlier than usual this year to yield more time for council and public participation in the budget process. However, Councilman Baird Gourlay said at the meeting that doing so turns a three-month process into a four-month one and ties up too much of Marks’ time.
    People interested in viewing the budget overview can do so at tinyurl.com/ime-ketchum2014budgetoverview. The council is expected to continue its discussion on the overview and budget process at a meeting on May 20.


Brennan Rego: brego@mtexpress.com





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