Council Has Made Just One Adjustment Thus Far

Only one budget amendment has been made to Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi’s 2014 executive budget.

A $30,000 reduction on an interest payment on refinancing the bond for the Main and Cherry streets parking garage ramp project has been the only change to the tentative budget. The amount of interest saved was discussed Nov. 4 during a City Council work session meeting. Teresi told council members the city’s bond rating had increased from Baa1, or lower-medium quality, to an A-minus, or upper-medium quality, by Standard and Poor’s. Because of this upgrade in the bond rating, the city will save money from refinancing the bond payment.

Jim Olson, Jamestown city clerk, said Kim Ecklund, R-At Large, sent the amendment request to change the budget Nov. 11. The change to lower the bond payment in the proposed budget was also discussed during the Nov. 4 meeting. The City’s Charter has a Nov. 10 deadline for council members to request budget amendments. However, because it was suggested during the meeting earlier this month, Olson said the amendment has been included for council members to vote on during future budget discussions.

Olson said the council budget amendments date was set in the early 2000s when the city reviewed its charter. Olson said in the past there was difficulty in passing a fiscal plan, so the deadline dates were added to the budget process. These dates include the Oct. 8 release of the mayor’s executive budget and the Dec. 1 deadline for council to pass a budget.

Even with the council’s budget amendment due date, council members can still suggest budget amendments as they continue to work on the spending plan for next year. Olson said the Nov.10 amendment date is just to help prepare paperwork for upcoming council work sessions and meetings dealing with the budget. However, council members can still suggest budget amendments up to the time the final budget is approved.

“We try to do the amendments so we have the resolution ready for them when they want to vote on it,” he said. “We try to have everything prepared and ready for them.”

At 6 p.m. on Monday a public hearing will be held on the city budget in the council chamber on the second floor of City Hall. The 2014 executive budget included a tax levy increase of $386,920, or 2.68 percent. The tax levy is the money raised through property taxes. The tentative tax levy total is $14,824,747. The tax rate is being proposed to increase by 55 cents, to a total of $22.18 per $1,000 assessed property value. The total budget increased $385,014, or 1.6 percent, to a total of $33,603,149.