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Local

Rock Falls City Council to vote on budget, water extension

Budget tweaked since committee presentation

ROCK FALLS – The City Council will vote tonight on a proposed budget that would put the city slightly in the black for fiscal year 2014-15.

City Administrator Robbin Blackert presented the budget, breaking it down by department, at a special Finance Committee meeting on March 25.

A few minor adjustments were made since that meeting, and the surplus is now a bit larger.

The numbers from the finance meeting showed total projected revenue at $21,726,459, and expenses at $21,725,062, giving the city a small cushion of $1,397.

The final version that will be before the council tonight projects revenue of $21,697,459 and expenses of $21,691,751, putting the city $5,708 in the black.

“I always leave myself some cushions with the budget,” Blackert said. “We found some extra money with codification of ordinances.”

Last year’s budget had a surplus of $3,705.

The city’s enterprise, or utility, funds once again were a big plus on the revenue side, Blackert said.

“Overall, we came out about where we always do,” Blackert said. “The enterprise funds are very important – they are now the fourth-highest contributor to our general fund revenues.

The sales tax is the biggest income generator, making up 27 percent of general fund revenue, followed by property tax, income tax and the enterprise funds.

The city’s new fiscal year begins in May.

Also up for a vote will be an ordinance to extend the deadline for residents using well water to hook up to the city system. The original deadline of April would be backed up to Oct. 1.

It was actually the city, not the well users, who needed the deadline extension.

“We have been dealing with some other water issues, and the weather has backed things up a bit,” Mayor Bill Wescott said.

When the ordinance was given a first read, Alderman Jim Schuneman wanted reassurance that the city would be ready by October.

“I want to make sure that if we extend this, our end will get done by Oct. 1,” Schuneman said.

About 248 well water users are now required by ordinance to connect to the city water supply. Water Department Superintendent Ted Padilla said he was confident they would be ready by the time the new deadline hits.

“We have approximately 150 left to do,” Padilla said. “About 50 to 75 of those need boxes yet.”

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