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Municipal band escapes budget session ax

City closer to a balanced budget

DIXON – While more than $800,000 was cut from a list of hoped for capital projects, equipment and personnel Monday by city commissioners and department directors, the municipal band remains fully funded.

At the end of the City Council’s third budget session, $10,852 more in cuts were needed to balance the city’s budget, said Finance Director Paula Meyer.

The City Council must pass an appropriation ordinance approving the budget at its first meeting in July, meaning all items are subject to change until then. Mayor Jim Burke said the budget will be balanced at the end of talks.

Meyer initially hoped to finish budget talks sometime in May, but two workshops were postponed after the resignation of City Engineer Shawn Ortgiesen.

Roughly $1.25 million remains in the budget for capital projects, $519,815 for equipment and $126,500 for personnel.

The budget also includes $40,000 for the municipal band. The band’s budget was cut in half last year, reducing the number of concerts it could perform.

“That will provide a full compliment of concerts, parades, etc.,” said Municipal Band Director Mark Bressler, who was in attendance Monday.

A $500,000 proposal for construction of a new building at the city’s cemetery was put off until next year.

Capital projects listed in the budget, for now, are $400,000 for City Hall improvements to heating and the roof, $100,000 for lighting and tuckpointing for the street department building, $38,000 for the Seventh Street annex building roof, $13,000 for cemetery gates, $50,000 for engineering for a new cemetery building and $500,000 for repaving streets and parking lots.

In personnel items, adding a deputy fire chief at $80,000, hiring a part-timer to clean City Hall at $10,000 and giving a public property employee the additional duty of foreman at $6,500 remain on the budget.

Fire Chief Tim Shipman told the City Council the item for a deputy chief is not final, and he will have a new proposal at the next session.

Commissioner Dennis Considine and David Blackburn questioned why the three-man public property department needed a foreman and superintendent.

Public Property Superintendent Curt Phillips said the foreman duties would allow that employee the ability to run the office and day-to-day operations when he’s not present.

Considine disagreed with the line item, but it was left in the budget. Public Property Commissioner Colleen Brechon said she supported the extra pay for a foreman.

Also, Burke asked for $2,000 to be put into the budget for any possible travel or expenses for the governmental task force charged with evaluating the city’s form of government and studying others. Its first meeting is May 1.

The next budget session is tentatively scheduled for May 13. Blackburn asked department directors to bring additional voluntary cuts to Meyer’s attention between now and then.

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