Spending by the City of Auburn would be cut 14 percent in a budget to be presented to the city council Thursday. The council reviewed the budget last week and a final vote is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6. City administrator Ron Griffith presented a summary of the main cuts and budget highlights to the council last week. Included in the proposal is a $3-5 hike in water fees. Expenses previously absorbed by the city’s general fund will be shifted to the water fund next year.
Also in revenue increases, the city is anticipating a huge bump in its building permit revenues if TBG Residential Inc. decides to proceed with its 72-unit apartment complex in Auburn. The city projects to collect $118,000 in building permit income next year. But Auburn also now expects to collect less income from its new transportation system known as A.N.T. Passenger fares are expected to bring in just $38,400, which is a $22,000 decrease from previous estimates.
As in the past, the police department remains Auburn's largest department and accounts for $1.4 million — half — of the city’s budgeted spending next year.
Over the past four years, the city has drawn from its reserves to pay for capital projects and cover general expenses. But with reserves now running low, that put pressure on the council this year to slash expenses in order to meet revenues that continue to shrink. The city expects large declines in the property tax digest as well as a decrease in sales tax income. The FY2013 budget projects no capital improvements and city employees will not get across-the-board raises.
For the full story, see the Aug. 29 issue of the Barrow Journal.
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