Albion City Council will attempt to pass an amended 2011 budget Monday after two special meetings in the past week resulted in revisions.
To save money in the city’s undesignated fund balance, $21,000 in miscellaneous line items would be removed, the overtime allowance for city employees would be reduced by $10,000 and public safety would purchase one new Chevrolet Tahoe, instead of possibly purchasing two as originally proposed.
Non-union employees, who took a wage freeze in 2010, would still get double raises of 2.4 percent each in 2011. Union workers received a 2.4 percent increase that would happen again in 2011.
Mayor Joe Domingo proposed a cost-cutting plan at the Dec. 6 meeting that eliminated $104,473 being drawn from the undesignated fund balance. But he said he was pleased to reach a compromise with city employee unions, who are saving the city $105,000 through health insurance provisions.
The new proposal would require $58,397 to come out of the undesignated fund balance.
“I would’ve liked to see us cut it all, but if it was going to affect services and things like that then they had a legitimate complaint,” Domingo said. “So we went back to the table several times, and we finally came up with what I thought was a very satisfying budget.”
City Manager Mike Herman said “my department heads and I think we can live with this.”
Herman said miscellaneous line items are standard in a lot of budgets, to help account for unforeseen expenditures and repairs.
Herman and his staff would determine the $10,000 deduction in overtime allowances over the course of the year, but he said he’s estimated about an $8,000 cut in public safety overtime, $1,500 in code enforcement overtime and $500 in human resources overtime.
One of Domingo’s biggest complaints about the original budget was that public safety planned on getting two new vehicles if it could secure rural grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The new agreement guarantees that one Tahoe would be purchased, but if a grant is awarded it would be used to help pay off the vehicle, not to buy another one.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on Dec. 16, 2010