Friday, September 6, 2013

Ketchum approves $17.8M budget

Unanimous vote made after minimal public comment


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

    The Ketchum City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a fiscal year 2013-2014 budget of $17,798,000. The fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
    Before the budget came to a final vote, there was minimal public input. Most of the residents in attendance left well before the approval after receiving awards for their efforts volunteering for the annual Wagon Days celebration.
    “We started discussions on the budget a month earlier this year in hopes of getting more participation, so to see the lack of turnout at the final meeting was disappointing,” Councilwoman Nina Jonas said.
    In the approved budget, about $5,584,000 is allocated towards the General Fund. The fund will provide Ketchum law enforcement with $1,337,945 to work with, an increase from the $1,267,250 provided last year.


We started discussions on the budget a month earlier this year
in hopes of getting more participation,
so to see the lack of turnout at the final meeting was disappointing.”
Nina Jonas
Councilwoman


    The Streets Maintenance Fund will have $817,541 for personnel services, an increase from the $782,720 appropriated last year. Also, the materials and services portion of the fund decreased from $637,769 last year to $602,400 this year. In total, the Street Maintenance Fund will be $1,657,941, slightly up from the $1,675,489 total of last year.
    Along with the increase in the Street Maintenance Fund, the Street Capital Improvement Fund went up from $70,000 last year to $78,813 appropriated for this year. The Parks and Recreation Fund increased from last year’s $974,892 budget to $1,046,367 this year, while the Fire and Rescue Fund also increased from $838,135 to $852,112.
    Although the Parks and Recreation Department will get a budget increase, the department’s trust fund went down from $138,460 to $81,000.
    The Ambulance Fund increased this year to $1,185,609 after last year’s $1,136,797 allocation. Of the Ambulance Fund, $1,050,509 will go towards personnel services, including salaries, on-call wages, overtime and benefits.
    The local option tax is expected to generate $2,248,835 of revenue for the city.
    A heavy cut was taken out of the Undergrounding Improvement Fund, as it was only given $100,000 following a $468,539 allocation in the previous budget. The fund is now solely dedicated to the undergrounding of overhead utility lines after once being part of the city’s Capital Improvement Fund.
    The Community Housing Fund suffered a 90 percent decrease, from $70,000 last year to only $7,000 this year. However, the General Fund will pay the $63,000 to fill the void. Meanwhile, the Water Fund will rise from $1,469,605 to $1,583,143 this year. The Water Capital Improvement Fund increased from $124,275 to $158,000.
    Jonas said she thought the only major difference in the new fiscal year’s budget compared to the last one was the $100,000 budgeted to bring the College of Southern Idaho Culinary School to Ketchum. The school will either be established in Ketchum or Elkhorn, but Jonas is not worried about which location is chosen.
    “Regardless of what happens, the Ketchum businesses will be the beneficiaries of the school opening,” Jonas said.
    Jonas added that if the school is not placed in Ketchum, then the budget might be re-opened to re-allocate the $100,000 appropriated for the school.




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