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Sunday, March 18, 2018

City council approves budget

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Glendive City Council unanimously adopted the city budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

No changes were made by the council to the proposed preliminary budget.

Only one resident, Jerry Geiger, attended the public hearing on the proposed budget. Geiger once again admonished the council to include funding for an ordinance enforcement officer in the budget.

“I’m disappointed in your decision not to budget for the ordinance enforcement position, as you had the opportunity to correct something this city has thought was not necessary for a long time, but as you can see by just walking or driving through Glendive, you can see it is necessary” Geiger told the council. 

He further argued that if the city could find a million dollars for a new ambulance building they could certainly find money for an ordinance enforcement officer.

Geiger also told the council that if they weren’t going to budget for an ordinance officer, then they needed to get the city’s department heads to enforce the city ordinances under their department’s purview.

“I ask that you do your job you were elected to do, and if you don’t want an enforcement officer, then make sure the department heads that are responsible for them get out there and let them do their part in enforcing them,” he said.

No council member commented on Geiger’s arguments, and during the regular council meeting the council engaged in no discussion on the ordinance officer issue or any other facet of the proposed budget before voting.

The adopted budget is for $10,322,894, an increase of nearly $300,000 over last year’s final budget, which came to $10,059,238.

The additional money for this year’s budget is primarily due to the pending construction of the city’s new wastewater treatment plant, accounting for just shy of $200,000 of the additional spending.

Another major change is the addition of another full-time police officer to the budget, giving the police department 10 full-time officers.

The government study commission, which voters narrowly approved in June, will add another $5,000 to the budget.

The city will levy virtually the exact same number of mills as last year, with a total of 244.7 mills levies compared to last year’s total of 244.72.

That mill total includes a non-exempt mill levy total of 229.96 mills, which is nearly two full mills lower than last year and over 40 mills below the maximum amount of non-exempt mills the city is authorized to levy, which is 273.

The number of exempt mill levies in the proposed budget, which do not count against the city’s authorized mill authority, is set at 15.44 mills, up nearly two mills from last year’s total of 13.57. The increases came via the permissive medical levy and the addition of the government study commission.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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