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Mabton addressing budget shortfalls

MABTON - Mabton City Council members spent last Friday night pouring over a draft of the 2008 municipal budget, trying to eliminate or reduce expenditures to make up for the fact that projected revenues fall short by about $200,000.

Council members worked on the budget with the assistance of Ret Stewart, whom the council agreed to hire to assist with the budget planning.

Thus far, council members cut $1,950 from their own portion of the budget in the form of office supplies and communications. They also reduced the amount budgeted for repairs from $80 to zero.

In the mayor's portion of the budget, the $200 budgeted for supplies was reduced to nothing, and the communications portion of the budget was reduced from $1,000 to $600.

The drafty windows at city hall won't be addressed in 2008, nor will the carpet, as the city simply can't afford it.

In the police department, thus far, the uniform allotment of $4,000 has been reduced to $2,000 and the city will no longer pay for the leather gear and boots of the officers. Also cut so far from the projected 2008 budget is a new copier and new tasers, to the tune of $8,000.

Fire Chief Luke Cussins said of his $32,305 portion of the budget, the only thing he could really see cutting is $3,000 for repairs.

Council will meet again prior to their regularly scheduled Nov. 13 meeting to re-visit the proposed budget and continue to make changes to compensate for the shortfall.

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