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Grandview begins 2012 budget preparations

GRANDVIEW - Tuesday of this week four department heads in Grandview provided the City Council with preliminary 2012 budget figures.

The police department, noted Grandview Police Chief Dave Charvet, accounts for 52 percent of the $5 million budget. The police department's preliminary budget is $2.6 million.

The department in 2012 is expected to pay $22,000 for new bullet-proof vests for the officers. The lifetime of the vests currently worn is due to expire, according to Charvet. The new vests, 25 of them, will not be due for replacement until 2017.

The police department will also be purchasing six new portable radios at the cost of $7,500. Charvet said the funds for the radios will come from the forfeited property account.

"We will be narrow band compliant," said Charvet.

Also, two patrol cars, both 2007 Dodge Chargers, are slated for replacement in 2012, three computer purchases are expected and eight tasers are also listed in the budget for purchase in 2012.

Charvet anticipates the police department's capital replacement reserve fund will be approximately $26,800 after the purchase of equipment is completed.

He said a big change in the budget for 2012 is the medical insurance costs paid. Medical insurance rates are expected to cost the city approximately $49,000.

"There is a $127,000 increase in 2012 (for the police budget)," said Charvet, stating his department attempts to be frugal. Currently, he said, expenditures are 33 percent under what was budgeted for in 2011.

Assistant Police Chief Mark Ware also spoke to the council briefly about the budget, stating two officers have devised a shift schedule he anticipates will save money, as well.

As a result of the new shifts, said Ware, approximately 10 hours each month are reserved and can be used for training and/or warrant service. Utilizing that time for those purposes saves the overtime costs typically associated with training.

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Carpenter, whose proposed budget is $537,600 for 2012, also spoke to the council about the changes in that budget.

The budget will switch gears with a new fund for the new community center.

The community center's proposed budget is more than $29,000 and the funds are expected to be used from the beginning of May 2012 to the end of the year.

Until that point, money is in the budget for senior services ($21,000), recreation services ($201,000) and aquatics ($84,700).

The funds from senior services will be included in the community center fund because the community center will serve seniors.

Carpenter said People for People will be using the kitchen at the community center to serve meals for seniors. As a result approximately $5,000 in revenue is expected to be received from the organization.

The expenses for 2011 from the recreation services is expected to be nearly $7,000 under budget and in 2012 it is anticipated the largest increase in the budget will be from the replacement of a pick-up truck.

Carpenter said his staff and those committed to the community center project are still in the process of deciding upon signage. A private donor has committed to assist with initial landscaping at the community center and much of the furniture has been secured through the generosity of community organizations and various donors.

"We are also seeking furniture for the fireplace area," said Carpenter, stating the community support has helped his department accomplish many tasks regarding the center.

For the pool (aquatics) fund, Carpenter said the preliminary budget for 2012 will increase approximately 11 percent.

Salaries are expected to rise by approximately $1,100 because of the minimum wage hikes.

Also, Carpenter said equipment for the pool is budgeted for replacement. New grid covers, a main pool pump, an area of the pool deck and covers for the starting blocks are included in the budget.

Councilman Jesse Palacios questioned what will happen to the current parks and recreation office once the community center is complete.

Charvet entered the conversation, stating the plan is to potentially move all exercise equipment from the police department to the parks and rec building. He said the equipment would be available to all city staff and officers could potentially train in the building.

"That would free up space in our building," he said.

Carpenter did not add anything, but said there were a few items not listed on the preliminary budget, but needed exploration. One of those items is an investigation into possibly renovating the city's existing pool, which has been for several years a subject of questions.

Library Director Elizabeth Jahnke and City Treasurer John Myers also spoke to the council about their preliminary 2012 budgets last night.

The library services budget is anticipated at $231,000 for next year.

Jahnke said there aren't a lot of changes in the preliminary budget from the 2011 budget.

New revenues for the coming year are anticipated to come from late return fees, printing and copying fees, and out of city user fees. Those revenues are anticipated at $8,500.

Added to the expenditures for 2012 will be the payment of the debt service for the new library building. The city is scheduled make a payment of nearly $57,000 to the state in 2012.

Myers provided an overview of eight funds he oversees. The funds are for capital improvements, bond debt services, equipment rental and community support in addition to accounting.

The capital improvement fund, he said is expected to receive $23,500 in 2012. Because the real estate excise taxes collected are expected to be lower, there are three projects anticipated for use of the funds.

City Administrator Cus Arteaga said the city is hoping to build a pathway connecting the schools on West Second Street to Forsell Road for ease of access to the community center at the potential cost of $8,000.

He said he has been speaking with a property owner who was supportive of the idea. As a result, the city is seeking to establish an easement for the pathway.

Arteaga said $10,000 of capital improvement funds are set aside for a retaining wall improvement on West Second Street and another $5,000 has been earmarked for continued improvements to the pathways at Country Park.

In 2012, said Myers, the city is expected to make 10 equipment purchases, amounting to an estimated $252,000. He said the fund will, however, be approximately $282,000 more than in 2011.

The water and sewer debt service will receive a bump in 2012 because funds from a community development block grant for the North Birch Street Project will be transferred to the fund.

Arteaga, after each of the directors had an opportunity to share the preliminary budget information, said he is pleased the directors worked diligently to develop what amounts to a balanced budget.

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