As of this writing much of the work to compile and finalize the fiscal year ’24 city budget is nearing completion. At our Jan. 23 Council meeting we took our first steps in completing the process by setting the date for our public hearing to set our proposed property tax (only) maximum levy on Feb. 13. Following that action, another public hearing will be set for the entire FY24 budget in the coming weeks.
The final step of any budget is approval by the Council following at that public hearing, then the budget’s submission to the State of Iowa prior to the deadline of March 31. Now you know why last week’s Mayor’s Desk topic “Public Hearings” was about. If this sounds confusing, there’s good reason. It is. This is a fairly new change to the process enacted by the State only a few years ago. While intended to add transparency, it also adds bureaucracy and thus confusion.
I thought I would outline only a few highlights of what is today referred to only as the “proposed budget” until its ratification by the Council following the hearings.
Beyond delivering the expected high level of public services for our residents and projects currently underway, specifically included this year are:
— An LED lighting system at the airport. This is a substantial upgrade from the current lighting system incorporating state-of-the-art runway approach lights and taxiways.
— Repair/preservation of the cemetery walls
— A new heavy-duty truck and equipment for the Streets Department.
— 35 new golf carts at the golf course
— Adams Street reconstruction
— Upgrades to Merchants Park
— Continuing to fund upgrades to both Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment plants
— New Police squad car
— Expanded Library programming
— Four new airpacks for the firefighters
This is only a partial list. Overall, I’m pleased with how the process went this year and hope you approve of the results of the many, many staff hours that went in to a budget we can all live with.
Thanks for reading.
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