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|Monmouth Budget in Good Shape, So Far; Pensions Still a Concern
|Monmouth city officials are cautiously optimistic about the city's budget after the first quarter of the fiscal year has come and gone.
City Administrator Eric Hanson presented aldermen the first quarter budget report prior to Tuesday night's city council meeting, and he says if the second and third quarters are like the first, he'll be very pleased.
Hanson says the vast majority of the city's tax revenues are up. Those include income taxes, hotel/motel taxes, sales tax and the city's sticker tax. In addition, general fund revenue is 6.5 percent ahead of projection after the first quarter.
Hanson and Mayor Rod Davies are concerned, however, with police and fire pensions. They anticipate the state will request more than $700,000 in pensions this year, an increase of around $250,000. Davies tells WGIL there was a period of time the city didn't fund the pensions 100 percent, and funding them at that rate now is the only way to make progress.
"The state legislature approved an increase in benefits for the pensioners," Davies said. "That combination of things has brought not only the City of Monmouth, but a number of other municipalities to this same position. It's a statewide problem. We do have large, unfunded liabilities, and we need to start addressing them."
Davies says the additional $250,000 for pensions will come out of the general fund, which means fewer dollars for other projects.
In other business, the city council unanimously approved nearly $60,000 dollars in repairs to the main Waste Water Treatment Plant.
|09 02 08 by Newsroom
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