Bellaire City Council unanimously approved its 2011 fiscal year budget, during its regular meeting last night.
The fiscal year for the budget is Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2011. The budget has a projected $14.9 million in revenues and $14.7 million in expenditures. Staff recommended that council approve the proposed budget.
“I think this budget is balanced … which means we’re not digging into our rainy day fund,” Mayor Cindy Siegel said.
Council held a public hearing on Aug. 16 to discuss the budget. Twenty residents addressed council during the public hearing, all wanting the therapy pool to stay open year round. To read the public hearing story, click here.
Council approved keeping the therapy pool open all winter and then closing it on April 1 for re-plastering and re-tiling repairs. Council’s decision allows for a lap pool to be open all year.
Some of the 2011 budget highlights include:
• Service reductions across all departments to balance operational budget requirements
• Emphasis on projects that are essential to safety welfare and long term infrastructure needs
• Expanding credit card payment options for citizens
• Deferred step pay increases for all employees
• No pay plan market adjustment
• Provided for continuation of all employee benefits
• Move into the new Fire Station
• Continuation of the Rebuild Bellaire streets and drainage program
• Renovation of the City Library
• Communications improvements including website upgrades integration of social media and installation of a digital Voice over Internet Citywide phone system
“We’re tightening our belts,” Siegel said. “If you eliminate employees you will be eliminating services.”
Siegel said with this balanced budget the city still has “all those great things that make Bellaire a great place to live.”
“I think the belt is pinching a bit on all of us,” she said. “I hope this is the only year we have to pinch.”
To view the budget, click here.
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