Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goshen city council passes 2014 budget

Posted on Oct. 15, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN – The city’s 2014 budget passed with relative ease on second reading Tuesday night, Oct. 15.

No city council member proposed further cuts, with only resident Glenn Null suggesting cuts before the vote.

Null said he would like to see about $70,000 cut from the sidewalk program because much of what was budgeted for 2013 was not used.

But council members Ed Ahlersmeyer, Julia Gautsche and Everett Thomas all rebuffed the proposal, praising the city’s sidewalk program as mutually-beneficial.

Thomas also noted that whatever money from the program’s fund isn’t spent is then deposited into the General Fund.

City council seemed to be pleased with the budget before them, which was $252,609 lighter than the original proposal.

At the first reading two weeks ago, councilman Jeremy Stutsman suggested the city hold off on filling a few vacancies and new positions until the city has a better picture of 2015.

The reductions in the final budget included $136,335 for two probationary police officers, $62,566 for one motor vehicle and highway equipment operator and $53,708 for one parks administrative position.

After voting, Thomas applauded council president Jim McKee, councilman Brett Weddell and Stutsman for their involvement with the Chamber of Commerce’s task force.

“The years that I’ve been sitting through budget hearings, two decades, this has been the smoothest process we’ve had,” he said. “To whatever extent you and councilman Weddell and councilman Stutsman helped with that through the Chamber’s task force… I think it was exemplary.”

“I hope we do that another year,” Thomas added.

As the meeting wound down, however, Stutsman added that he’d like the council to meet sometime in early 2014 to discuss the use of Goshen’s rainy day fund to help fund the budget. He said he’d like to establish a level of how low the council feels comfortable letting the fund go and suggested they seriously discuss other avenues of raising revenues.