City works to balance FY19 budget

Calculator. (Photo by Sykez Tom / Flickr)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The City of Kodiak is busy drafting its budget plan for fiscal year 2019.

At a city council budget work session Monday, staff presented seven different options for balancing the budget without doubling the mill rate.

The council found itself split between two.

One would rely on appropriating money from the fund balance, and City manager Mike Tvenge said that was the staff’s recommendation.

He said it maintains the city’s overall operations and allows them to move ahead with capital projects and infrastructure repairs on a five-year-plan.

“It does take away from our fund balance, which is contrary to what we’ve been talking about using. That’s why we’re trying to be more sustainable, but we’re kind of at a catch 22 here. Do we fund our capital needs? Do we use our fund balance to do that or do we raise revenues to do that? Well, council chose not to raise additional revenues at this time.”

The use of the fund balance was one reason why City Mayor Pat Branson leaned away from staff’s choice.

“We never know what kind of emergencies might be needed and, using our fund balance, I’m a little bit conservative in that regard.”

The council looked at another option that’s more spread out.

It takes from both the fund balance and the enhancement fund, which relates to investment.

The option also includes a cut to street repair, which made at least one council member think twice, and takes away from infrastructure in need of replacement, like the fire station.

The council reached a compromise. It decided to move forward on the draft budget choice that mostly takes from the fund balance with the possibility of amendment at the second reading.

The first reading is tentatively set for next Thursday.

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