On Monday the Budget Committee (BC) approved next year’s budget. It completed over 15 hours of work on their part. The following are significant changes made by the BC.
- Remove the convenience fee for using debit and credit cards to pay on-line. The City charges an extra $2.25 when you pay your utility bill on-line with a debit and/or credit card. The City will cease this practice if this change is approved by the City Council. This change will decrease the City’s revenue by $4,520 per year but we hope more people will pay their bill on-line.
TRASH TIP: You can reduce the amount of trash you create by switching to electronic billing. It’s just four east steps to go paperless when you set up an account at Express Bill Pay.
- Go to www.xpressbillpay.com and log in.
- Click “View Bill” under the account you would like to be paperless.
- Locate the “Paperless (Off)” button
- Click the button to turn on “Paperless (On)”
TA-DA! Just like that you’ve reduced the stuff you throw away.
- Donate $50,000 to the Hospital for equipment when the new hospital is built. Samaritan Hospital is moving forward with the new hospital and are fund raising for equipment needed in the new hospital. The BC recommended giving $50,000 as part of the City’s economic development incentives.
- Create a Teen Center within the Community Center. The BC approved $46,250 for this purpose.
- Funding for the Cultural Center. The BC approved $58,000 for window replacement at the Cultural Center, $150,000 for improvements to the grounds and $50,000 for design/engineering for the site plan engineering and design development.
- The BC approved $500,000 for a new centrifuge. A centrifuge dries the sewage sludge so it can be taken to the landfill. The City has one in operation now but needs a second to process the amount of sludge generated and act as a back up.
- Wi-Fi Hot Spots. The City Council has been interested in providing greater access to the internet especially for students. The BC approved $10,000 for installing hot spots in selected areas within Town.
- Remove the Deed Restriction at Regatta Park. The deed on the park restricts vendors. Removing this restriction allows the City to expand activities at the park.
- Add $1.15 million for sidewalks along Hwy 101. These funds will be used to extend sidewalk on the east side of Hwy 101 from Taco Bell to Holmes road – approximately 2,000 feet; extend sidewalk on the west side of Hwy 101 from Motel 6 to Mojo’s Coffee – approximately 100 feet; and, extend sidewalk on the east side of Hwy 101 from SE 19th to SE 23rd – approximately 1,200 feet.
The approved budget will be presented to the City Council on June 11th for adoption