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(Neb)-Chadron Looking At $288,000 Initial Budget Shortfall Next Year

By: John Axtell Posted at: 07/10/2019 08:00 PM
CHADRON - The Chadron City Council spent most of Tuesday afternoon in a budget workshop, struggling with how to balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1st.

     City Manager Greg Yanker told the council his initial trimming of spending requests by department heads still left proposed expenditures $288,000 more than expected revenue - not including a projected $140,000 cash carryover from this year's budget.

      Yanker said he would prefer not to use the cash carryover until the city rebuilds its cash reserve, a process that started last year after the council accepted his proposal for a double-digit cut in spending to bring it in line with revenue after several years of balancing the budget with the reserve.

      Yesterday's nearly 3 hours of discussion covered both specific budget areas such roughly $50,000 in pay hikes for city staffers, the need to replace the city's large truck-mounted snow blower at a cost of $125,000, and $40,000 for a new roof on the library and how to pay for such capital projects.

       Council members debated options that included using part of the cash carryover for capital spending, the possibility of raising Chadron's property tax rate for the first time in 4 years, and increasing sewer and water rates.

      In the end, they directed Yanker to start whittling away at the shortfall by trimming the capital projects area by about 50% as he prepares his initial draft budget to present to them next month.

      Yanker said that version of the budget would likely not be balanced because he wanted the council to make the final decisions on specific cuts or revenue increases.


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