Mon, Jan

City cuts budget


As of April 24, the city of Cottonwood is working with a balanced 2018 budget of $84,995,470 — an increase of nearly $12 million over this year’s original balanced budget of $73,112,570.

For 2017, the revised budget was $64,950,295.

On June 6, the city will look at a revised budget for 2018. Following public input, City Council will adopt the new budget Tuesday, June 20.

Despite the bigger figure, the city is looking at substantial cuts.

“Departments were asked to give 3 percent across the board,” Cottonwood Mayor Timothy Elinski said.

In total, operational cuts amount to $532,660, broken down as follows:

  • Administration: $9,300. Cuts to supplies and the city manager’s contingency fund.
  • Airport: $48,250. Cuts to contractual services, operational equipment, supplies and fuel expenses.
  • City Clerk : $1,350. Cuts to supplies, travel expenses and vehicle maintenance.
  • Code Enforcement: $500. Cuts to tools.
  • Communications: $53,805. Cuts to one position and travel and training expenses.
  • Community Development: $6,040. Cuts to contractual services, travel and training expenses, supplies and vehicle maintenance.
  • Court: $27,000. Cuts to court-appointed attorneys, equipment maintenance, contractual services and travel and training expenses.
  • Economic Development: $7,780. Cuts to the Focus on Success program.
  • Engineering: $11,300. Cuts to supplies, travel and training expenses and continuing education.
  • Finance: $8,000. Cuts to travel and training expenses, contractual services and supplies.
  • Fire: $19,200. Cuts to volunteer staff, operational supplies, EMS expenditures and travel and training expenses.
  • Human Resources: $8,000. Cuts to contractual services.
  • Information Technology: $21,320. Cuts to supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance, contractual services and equipment.
  • Legal: $10,000. Cuts to contractual services.
  • Parks and Building Maintenance: $12,500. Cuts to grounds, vehicle and equipment maintenance, tools and travel and training expenses.
  • Parks and Recreation: $26,430. Cuts to recreational programming, softball programming, temporary employees and public relations.
  • Police: $163,180. Cuts to two officer positions, training supplies, SWAT equipment and community policing programs.
  • Pool: $4,000. Cuts to supplies and utilities.
  • Library: $12,000. Cuts to temporary employees, book purchases, equipment maintenance and travel and training expenses.
  • Public Works: $12,500. Cuts to supplies, contractual services and travel and training expenses.
  • Purchasing: $205. Cuts to contractual services and travel and training expenses.
  • Recreation Center: $38,000. Cuts to temporary employees, utilities and recreational programming.
  • Streets: $29,500. Cuts to street marking, street signs, street materials, tools and fuel.
  • Youth Center: $2,500. Cuts to temporary employees.

Elinski admitted that the police were the hardest hit: “They’re the largest slice of the pie [and] they had a couple of positions to fill .... We’re not laying off officers. We’re just not filling a couple positions.”

Elinski said that he felt confident there would be no reduction in the quality of service offered by the Cottonwood Police Department.

According to Cottonwood Administrative Services General Manager Rudy Rodriguez, the eliminated positions for the 2018 fiscal year are as follows:

  • Two police officers: A $154,375 combined salary.
  • One communications specialist: A $51,305 salary

“This now makes four police officer positions that have been eliminated in the past three years,” Rodriguez said. “We would like the city manager to reserve the right to add at least one
police officer position back later in the fiscal year if both a candidate and the funding is made available.

“These positions will need to be filled in future fiscal years.”

Elinski said that the reasons for the tightened belt are relatively simple: “Expenditures aren’t worse [but] we’re not growing. It’s a slow recovery .... Do I think we’re going bankrupt? No. Do I think we could spend our money in ways that are more productive? Sure.”

Following editions of the Cottonwood Journal Extra will examine what money the city expects to spend on major projects in 2018, how much debt the city holds and how cuts to CPD could impact the department.

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