Bellaire City Council started the process of going over the 2011 fiscal year budget, following its regular session last night.
Last night’s discussion is one of several budget workshops city staff and council will be having before the budget is approved on Sept. 20. They will be having a budget workshop tonight at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.
City Manager Bernie Satterwhite said city staff has been working really hard to come out with a balanced budget. The proposed budget is 91 pages and is available here.
“It takes about $15 million to run the city,” Satterwhite said. “We essentially have a balanced budget.”
The city needs approximately $15 million in the general fund to balance the operating budget with an additional $4 million to pay debt, he said.
At current tax rates, an estimated $14, 569,000 is available for operating costs and $3,571,753 is available for debt, according to Satterwhite’s report.
Satterwhite said the top priority for 2011 is to pay the debt.
One of their 2011 assumptions is to submit a balanced general fund balance.
Some of the things the city is doing to cut costs include cutting personnel costs, having a hiring freeze across the board and no travel or training, except as mandated.
The city has not planned on any layoffs, but will decrease part time hours and will decrease overtime, he said. There will not be a reduction in salaries.
“It’s tough to cut,” Satterwhite said.
All vacant positions are frozen, but rehiring could occur after review by department heads and the city manager, he said.
The city will also raise camp fees that haven’t been raised in many years, he said.
“Any new things require new money,” Satterwhite said.