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The original item was published from 2/22/2017 11:26:27 AM to 2/28/2017 6:42:39 PM.

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Posted on: February 22, 2017

[ARCHIVED] City Manager offers overview of city budget, takes questions

Feb. 22, 2017 - In the first of three public input sessions intended to guide formation of the city's budget for the next year, City Manager Mary Bunting offered citizens a look at the process and took questions and comments.

Bunting's "Budget 101" presentation showed where the city's money comes from, and it's largely raised locally. Of the locally generated revenues, nearly half comes from real estate taxes (homes and commercial properties). Personal property, makes, sales and business license taxes are the next largest categories.

After a few years of declines, the city has seen three years of growth in property values -- but that growth has been small, hitting 1% for one of the three years.

She discussed mandates from state and federal government, which are programs that can't be cut, such as stormwater and wastewater improvements.

The city's main goals for the next budget, she said, would be to provide funding for additional funding for the police, including additional officers, staffing a center for monitoring public cameras, and equipment. For the capital spending, a new police academy is being sought to enable training for new officers and replacement for officers expected to retire in the near future.

The public will have a more structured chance to weigh in on those and other spending proposals. Bunting will discuss the capital spending plan -- both the five-year maintenance budget and the strategic spending under consideration -- at a meeting Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hampton High School auditorium.

The annual operating budget will be the topic March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bethel High School auditorium. Both of those meetings will offer keypad polling to capture residents' priorities as part of the city's "I Value" input efforts to align city spending with residents' priorities.

See the presentation slides
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