Budget Committee Meeting
May 7, 2008 6pm
Civic Center, Council Chambers,
The Citizenís Budget Committee meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm on May 7, 2008 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.
Committee members Chapman, Everson, Gregorio, Hardesty, Heimann, Jackson, Morrison, Silbiger, Stebbins, and Thompson were present. Douma, Hartzell, Navickas, and Slattery were absent.
STAFF PRESENT: MARTHA BENNETT, CITY ADMINISTRATOR
LEE TUNEBERG, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES/ FINANCE DIRECTOR
BRYN MORRISON, ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE
DIANA SHIPLET, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
JIM OLSON, INTERIM PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR
PAULA BROWN, CITY ENGINEER
MIKE MORRISON, MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY SUPERVISOR
TERRY ELLIS, PUBLIC WORKS SUPERINTENDENT
City Administrator Bennett informed the committee that they will be providing the responses to their e-mailed questions tomorrow both by e-mail and in hard-copy form.
Committee member Silbiger arrived 6:08 pm.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN OVERVIEW
Paula Brown, Public Works gave an overview of what is involved in the CIP and the current yearís activities. Committee asked for and received details on the status of all the current projects and the status of the grant funding on the projects.
Committee member Morrison arrived 6:20 pm.
Committee asked and received details regarding how much of the CIP is funded through debt and how much the City will have to pay, even with grant funding. Committee asked and received details on how the debt service is projected out for the next few years. Committee asked and received clarification regarding bonding for CIP projects.
Committee had discussion over whether or not they need to make a motion of tentative approval. It was determined that because both the CIP was approved by Council prior to the budget season and ninety percent of the CIP projects are in the Public Works Department budget, there is no necessity to approve separately.
Paula Brown gave overview of the Public Works Department budget, major accomplishments and the proposed budget by function and then proposed budget by fund.
Committee asked about any discussions being had by the County or State regarding a gas tax. Ms. Brown stated that it has been proposed but in this election year doesnít seem likely. Committee member Morrison gave some information about how long it has been since gas taxes were raised and the difficulties this causes state-wide.
Ms. Brown gave overview of the airport fund. The biggest change for FY09 is the large debt service because they need to re-finance the T-hanger construction loan. Overall, the airport is still working well. They are looking at increasing business and doing infrastructure improvements. Committee asked about airport revenues and what the impact of the higher fuel costs in relation to the necessity of increasing business. Ms. Brown stated they are looking for businesses which donít depend so greatly on strictly flying. Committee asked if we have taken into consideration the effects relating to noise and traffic with increased business. Ms. Brown stated that was all researched in the Airport Master Plan. Committee asked and received information about the various revenue sources including hanger rentals, grants, and the selling of fuel.
Ms. Brown gave an overview of the various programs within the Street Fund. Committee asked and received clarification on the agreement for services with the Parks department for grounds maintenance. Committee asked and received clarification on the change in personnel levels.
Ms. Brown gave an overview of the Water Fund. She gave an overview of cost vs. water use per million gallons. This is a double edged sword because the less water used equals greater costs to treat the water. In other words, the highly effective water conservation programs are both saving water and costing the city more money. Committee asked and received clarification regarding fixed costs.
Ms. Brown gave an overview of the Wastewater Fund. Similar to the Water Fund, treating less effluent costs more per million gallons. Committee asked and received clarification regarding bonding and the total ending fund balance.
Ms. Brown gave overview of Public Works Administration, Engineering, GIS, Fleet and Facilities Maintenance, and Cemetery Funds. Committee asked and received clarification about capital expenses relating to equipment acquisition. Committee asked and received clarification on the equipment fund in regards to how departments pay into that fund and how vehicle types are selected.
Committee asked that Public Works bring in options for suggestions on improving the operational ending fund balance. Mr. Tuneberg gave an overview of the challenges to this including borrowing. Committee asked if the Council were to re-issue the Food and Beverage Tax would that alleviate the funding issues in the wastewater department. Ms. Brown and Mr. Tuneberg stated that it takes care of some of those issues but most of the revenue goes to pay for the debt service on the wastewater treatment plant.
Heimann/Jackson m/s to tentatively approve the Public Works budget. Voice Vote: All Ayes.
Ms. Bennett informed the Committee of what is on the draft agenda for tomorrow nightís meeting. She asked the group if there is anything else that should be added. Committee raised concerns in regards to when they will be able to fully discuss salary and health care costs. Ms. Bennett gave an overview of current changes, how the City is approaching this issue, and the challenges and concerns on both sides.
This meeting adjourned at 8:47 PM.